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Tuesday, 22 December 2015


"The persistent penchant by the hierarchy of the Department for State Security Services (DSS) to flagrantly disrespect binding orders of competent Courts of Jurisdiction in Nigeria is a sinister plot by the armed security agency to imperil democracy and pave way for military type dictatorship. Going by recent unpleasant record of total dishonor and disrespect of the constitutionally guaranteed judicial powers of Courts of Nigeria and the pattern of illegally using psychological and physical torture on detainees of high political values, the current management of DSS are surely on a dangerous highway of perfidy with intents to imperil our current gains at enthroning democracy and rule of law ".
This was the conclusion drawn by a Pro-Democracy Non Governmental organization- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA  (HURIWA ) in reaction to the serial failure and obstinate refusal by the DSS to release Mr. Nnamdi Kanu from the dungeon even after he was last Thursday freed by the Federal High Court,  Abuja Division which aptly described as illegal  the continuous detention under dehumanizing condition by DSS of Mr. Nnamdi Kanu since over three months after he was picked up on his return from the United Kingdom where he is based and where the Radio Biafra operates from. HURIWA said the rumor making rounds that DSS plans to rearraign Mr. Nnamdi Kanu for another framed up charges of committing treason is in itself a treasonable felony on the part of DG of DSS because to cumulatively violate court orders and turn back to institute separate matter against a citizen who has previously been freed amounts to high treason and an attempt to destroy democracy in Nigeria which must be punished if Nigeria is to end the vicious circle of impunity.

HURIWA said the President who has sworn an oath of office to abide with the provisions of the Constitution can be impeached for looking the other way whilst security officials he picked and appointed into high offices wantonly violate extant and substantive binding orders of Courts just as HURIWA reminded President Muhammadu Buhari that in Nigeria the Court is the institution that legitimately exercises the judicial powers of the federation of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The group has therefore warned President Muhammadu Buhari to thread cautiously in his current pastime of permitting armed security officials to openly and persistently disobey court orders which are not favorable to the Presidency. "Mr. President should be Careful the way he rides on the back of the Tiger in jubilant mood because the Tiger may not always remain loyal and subservient all of the time with the man riding on top of his back just as the rider could easily become easy prey to the hungry Tiger ".

In a statement signed jointly by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA said the Department of State Service is in gross breach of the law by acting ultra vires in keeping back in the cell Mr. Nnamdi Kanu who by the express judicial Order of the Federal High Court ought and must be released IMMEDIATELY AND UNCONDITIONALLY.  The attitudes of the DSS is primitive, unlawful, unconstitutional,  primitive and totally reprehensible and therefore stands absolutely condemned.

"Does the Director General of the Department for State Security Services require another professional training (having cone from a rustic post retirement background before he was resurrected by his kinsman President Muhammadu Buhari) to know that under the constitution which is THE SUPREME LAW OF NIGERIA the security agency must comply with binding court orders and can't pick and choose which of the Court orders to enforce? This unconstitutional conduct of the DG of DSS must be condemned by all and sundry and the National Assembly must immediately ask President Muhammadu Buhari to dismiss without further delay the Katsina born DG of DSS Alhaji Lawal Musa  Daura for wantonly disobeying court injunctive and mandatory  orders  and for seeking actively to undermine the Rule of Law and Constitutional democracy. We wholeheartedly call on the Nigerian Bar Association; the Chief Justice of the Federation of Nigeria and the organized and not yet contaminated and politicized Pro -Democracy and civil society community to unanimously condemn the Director General of the Department for State Security Services for his notorious penchant and his self destructive attributes to flagrantly deploy military tactics to deal with perceived political opponents of his paymaster and voices of dissent.  The DSS must comply with the court order and release Nnamdi Kanu unless the hierarchy is on a national suicide mission of destroying Nigeria's democracy to pave way for the emergence of a totalitarian dictator similar to the Burundian or Rwandan anti democracy models".


By Emmanuel Onwubiko

A pro-Democracy Non-governmental organization - HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has asked the Nigerian Government to tell Nigerians the findings concerning the Visa scam involving the top flight terrorist who attempted to fly into Nigeria over two months back.

HURIWA recalled that the Nigerian government had reportedly ordered a full investigation into how a wanted terrorist was granted Nigerian Visa in Lebanon to visit the country since August but wondered why no clear report has been made public to the Nigerian public. HURIWA said it amounts to institutionalizing lawlessness and impunity if this grave threat to Nigeria's national security is swept under the carpets by President Muhammadu Buhari.

HURIWA further recalled that the Permanent Secretary in the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign affairs sometime in August reportedly confirmed to the media that President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to investigate the circumstances surrounding the issuance of Visa to the wanted terrorist‎ who has been on the wanted list of several governments.

HURIWA recalled that a radical Muslim cleric, Ahmad al-Assir was arrested by Lebanese authorities as he attempted to leave Lebanon to Nigeria enroute Cairo Egypt.

The terrorist mastermind was reportedly arrested while attempting to travel with a fake Palestinian passport with a valid Nigerian Visa‎ at the Beirut’s Rafik Hariri International Airport early Saturday, August 15, 2015 in Lebanon.

The Rights group in a statement signed jointly by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, recalled that Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency reported that Assir, who was travelling with another man, was holding a fake passport in the name of Rami Abdul Rahman Taleb, while his companion was holding a passport in the name of Khaled Sidani.

He was reported to have shaved off his iconic beard and under gone facial surgery to conceal his identity but was identified by eagle eyed Lebanese security operatives.

Sheikh Assir has been on the run for two years, having been declared wanted in Lebanon in 2013 when his followers clashed with the Lebanese army, killing at least 18 soldiers.

HURIWA said it was regrettably disappointing that several months after this scandal blew open that brought international opprobrium on Nigerian as a nation whose immigration and foreign Affairs ministry partner with terror masterminds, the Nigerian government is yet to come to terms with what exactly happened that such a high caliber terrorist can successfully obtain valid entry permit into Nigeria. "Is there more to it than meets the eyes? Are there powerful people in this government that invited this terrorist?", HURIWA asked.

"We demand greater openness on this Visa scam because we are aware of the disastrous damage that Boko Haram -an affiliate of ISIS has done to many Nigerian communities and the killings of several thousands of civilians. Nigerians deserve to know those involved in the invitation of this Terrorist into Nigeria and all those who actively worked for the successful issuance of VISA into Nigeria . The FGN must within 48 hours furnish Nigerians with details of the investigation. The National Assembly must take special interest in all of this scandal so the officials indicted are named, shamed and prosecuted as enemies of Nigeria ", HURIWA stated.


A pro-Democracy Non-governmental organization -Human Rights Writers Association Of Nigeria  (HURIWA ) has canvassed increased civil cum military partnership for nation building even as the Rights group has tasked the Federal Government to more constructive fortify the Nigerian National Human Rights Commission by appointing a vibrant and credible civil society activist of proven records to head the administrative hierarchy of the National Human Rights Commission for greater efficiency and prompt redress of alleged violations of the Constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights of the Nigerian citizens.

HURIWA in a statement signed by Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, its National Coordinator further stated that from available information and eye witness accounts it got from Zaria in Kaduna State, there is the urgent need for Nigerians to support the ongoing local remedial mechanisms such as the decision by the Nigerian Army hierarchy to approach the National Human Rights Commission for investigation over alleged rights abuses by the Zaria based Shifted movement and also the judicial commission of Inquiry instituted by the validly empowered Kaduna State government.

HURIWA said although the incident that precipitated to needless deaths was regrettable it however advised that circumspection is needed now so an atmosphere of persistently mutual suspicions between the Nigerian military and the civil populace is not popularized and enthroned.  We need the Nigerian military as much as they the military needs us in the larger civil society community because without the people of Nigeria who own the sovereignty of Nigeria there would be no Nigerian military and at the same time without the Nigerian military our territorial integrity will be imperiled thereby making it impossible for the human rights of the citizenry to be promoted; protected and nurtured and for civil democracy to be permanently enthroned.  We need each other and at these trying times that Nigeria faces threats of terrorism there is the need to further consolidate on existing civil cum military partnership for the love of fatherland.

Expressing optimism that the existing local remedial mechanisms already activated at both sub national and national level was capable of dousing all tensions and far reaching recommendations expected with the expectations that justice for all would be accomplished, the Rights group said it has noted with considerable satisfaction that the hierarchy of the Nigerian Army has set in motion various measures of promoting civil cum military relations including the need to respect human rights of all citizens in times of internal military operations. HURIWA has therefore called for greater practical synergy between the civil society stakeholders and the military.         

HURIWA, also, volunteered to “gladly provide support to our military so the respect for the human rights of all nigerians are promoted and protesters.”

Source News Express

Monday, 21 December 2015


By Emmanuel Onwubiko
For almost three decades of my active career as a media and human rights practitioner, I have obviously lost count of the statistical information/data about violent sexual molestation and rape of Women and younger female children by male adults that have successfully made it to the news pages of mainstream media. 
For 18 years I actively worked as a reporter/journalist in reputable print media and I made my big break as a nationally recognizable journalist when I spent nearly a decade working for The Guardian Newspaper as the Court Correspondent in the nation's capital of Abuja and I had the privileged opportunities of witnessing many cases of cruelties and sexual violations of female Children by depraved adult males who can at best be described as animalistic, irrational, crazy and emotionally unstable. 
You  don't need to become Sigmund Freud of blessed memory to know that it takes mental insanity for an adult to condescend so low to violently rape a girl that can at best be his child and indeed we have read cases of where so -called parents have been prosecuted for the cruel sexual violations of their children- I mean fathers who have consistently sexually harassed and violated their biological girl teenage daughters. Not long ago the newspapers reported a certain  man in his fifties who resides in Lagos metropolitan  area with his daughters who are in their earliest teenage years whom he serially abused and raped resulting in the pregnancy of the young girl amongst these his Children whose Mother separated from this rapist. 
On paper the criminal and penal codes frown at rape but in reality getting quality and punitive judicial sanctions for rapists is as difficult as a Camel to pass through the eye of the needle. 
Victims of sexual violence in Nigeria are subjected to odium and the police in Nigeria are so I'll equipped and lacks the requisite professional rigors and discipline to follow through cases of rape without compromising such cases on the platter of Naira and Kobo. 
We will consult Professor Mrs. Ngozi Joy Ezeilo a versatile human rights practitioner who has written extensively on the thematic area of rape and has indeed pointed out that the extant legal provisions against rape and sexual violence  are so porous that rapists often escape the legal hammer for the heinous crimes of sexual violations of innocent girls. 
Ngozi Ezeilo mentioned several decided cases to demonstrate that the legal framework in existence in Nigeria is not watertight to punish offenders who commit sexual violence  cases of rape, defilement, violence against Women, including trafficking of women and other criminal offences. 
In her book titled 'Women, Law & Human Rights- Global and National Perspectives' Professor Ezeilo cited for instance the case ofOKOYOMON VERSUS THE STATE (1973) Nigerian Monthly Law Report 292; whereby the Supreme Court of Nigeria unfortunately overturned the decision of both the trial and Appellate court on the nebulous ground of technicalities. 
At the trial court the accused was found guilty of rape and sentenced to four years imprisonment with hard labor even as the Court of Appeal affirmed the decision of the trial court but on further appeal upstairs the Supreme Court of Nigeria which is the Court of Finality easily set free the accused for the reason that;(I)The prosecution had not established that there had been penetration as required under the criminal code; (ii) it was not enough to find that the prosecutrix/accused rapist  had a venereal disease; that the doctor should have examined the accused person to find out if he had the same type of venereal disease; (iii) that  there should have been medical examination as to how long PW4’s  (prosecution witness) hymen had been torn and by whom; (iv) that the evidence of PW1 (prosecution witness) has only a limited probative value in corroborating the prosecutrix’s story that the accused was on top of her but not as corroborating the actual act of penetration. 
This decision  is pathetic and sad.
In view of the inability of extant laws to sufficiently punish rapists and deter others I'm suggesting that CASTRATION OF SEXUAL ORGANS OF CONVICTED RAPISTS SHOULD BECOME THE PUNISHMENT FOR RAPE in addition to life term custodial sentence. It is stated that unusual phenomenon are tackled with unusual panacea. Again, it's only an insane mind that would think that he can do the same thing all the time and expect a different outcome. We can't continue to fight cases of rape using the same method and expect a different outcome from what obtains now.
Contrary to some opinion that this punishment amounts to cruel punishment,  there are a groundswell of scientific and medical findings to state that castration has health benefits and so inflicting g it as a punitive measure on rapists already convicted by the competent courts of law shouldn't bbe seen as cruel and unacceptable but a necessary and tolerable lesser evil that could take off serial rapists from embarking on rampage and sexual demolition of our girl children. We are under moral and legal obligations to protect our vulnerable children from the rampaging activities of rapists who prowl round like roaring lions looking for innocent girl child to devour sexually and take away their human dignity for ever.  
From available body of research we learnt that  Castration (also known as gonadectomy) is any action, surgical, chemical, or otherwise by which a biological male loses use of the testicles. 
Surgical castration is bilateral orchiectomy (excision of both testes) and chemical castration uses pharmaceutical drugs to inactivate the testes.
A recent review article by David Gems (Gems, D Evolution of sexually, dimorphic longevity in humans, Aging (Albany NY) 2014, 6, 84-91) discusses possible mechanisms by which testosterone and dihydrotestosterone could shorten the life expectancies of human males, and examines previous research on the effects of castration, male survival.
 In general, castration after puberty in males prolongs life to a lesser extent than castration before the onset of puberty.
Two of three known studies on the legal and health benefits of male castrations on human life found that historically, castration prolonged life by more than a decade. 
Relevant studies, such as the study eunuchs by Hamilton & Mestler (Hamilton, J.B; Mestler, G.E Mortality and survival: Comparison of eunuchs with intact men in a mental  retarded population. J Gerontal.1969.24 395-411),the study of Korean Eunuchs by Min, Lee Park ( The lifespan of Korean Eunuchs, current Biology 2012,22,R 792-R793)and review of Gems, "Extends life expectancy and life span".
Secondly it is a fact that health- wise, chemical and physical castration, have an advantage of increased ability to fight off  infections Just as the authors of the study on Korean Eunuchs pointed to  the above findings as evidence that “male sex hormones reduce lifespan of men because of their antagonistic role in immune function.  There are indeed ups and downs inherent in this kind of punishment but universally it would stop serial rapists from ever having the 'Weapons of mass destruction ' to cause social and criminal damage on young girl and in some cases male chikdren by adults. Our suggestions for castration as punishment for rape can still find additional support in the research by Hamilton & Mestler's study which suggests that health wise, castration protects more against deaths from certain kinds of infections such as tuberculosis, than others. In general, it seems like the claim that castration protection against death from infections is true. Obviously whilst male castration is one way in which humans could extend their lifespan and expectancies. So, theres a scientific body of proof to show that being castrated is one way for males to live longer. Let the National Assembly make law prescribing castration as additional mandatory punishment for rape in addition to life term sentence with hard labour. 
*Emmanuel Onwubiko is Head of Human rights Writers association of Nigeria and blogs,

Monday, 14 December 2015

Allegations Against NEMA DG Mohammed Sani Sidi in Multi-Billion Naira Fraud is Absurd- HURIWA

Sunday, December 13, 2015 - 14:53OUR REPORTER

A pro-transparency Non-governmental organization -HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA  (HURIWA ) has waded into the allegation of multibillion Naira  contract scam leveled against the Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency  (NEMA) Alhaji Mohammed Sani -Sidi by an amorphous group in the social media and has disclosed that an interim report of her investigation for now has dismissed those allegations as laughable,  outrageous and puerile.         
In a media release signed jointly by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA said it launched a discreet probe of the allegations which originated from a little known source online and has gone viral on the social media because of our background knowledge as reputable observers of the government procurement processes with requisite recognition by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) over a period of many years.   
"From our background of experience as an organization that has observed public procurement mechanisms since the emergence of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) we view these allegations as bogus and substantially vacuous and if available facts before us are  anything to go by then it is safe to dismiss these allegations as dubious and politically motivated ".
 HURIWA said:"At first when these range of allegations hit the social media we investigated to ascertain the credibility of the source of the information but it is clear that the source can't be traced since there's no valid physical or cyberspace address and the names cited as signatories of the allegations of multibillion Naira contract scandal can't be identified since they are unknown to most credible stakeholders in the organized civil society and human rights community. Secondly, our preliminary investigations shows that the documents paraded as proof of evidence for these sensational allegations against the Director General of NEMA looks forged and heavily superimposed and therefore can't be trusted for now. Again, as a long standing public officer the DG of NEMA is abreast of the provisions of the BPP Act and has never been in confrontation with the relevant law enforcement authorities since assuming office over half a dozen years ago  and as a public official who is aware of the anti graft posture of the current administration and a good public officer at that it is doubtful if he will embark on this suicidal mission of contract scam running to this obscene amount of money been peddled by rumor mongers."
HURIWA said it will by the end of the week publish her final report but stated that the DG of NEMA is one of the few public officials with a lot of goodwill because of the efficient and effective ways he has piloted the affairs of NEMA alongside his professionally competent management team.    
HURIWA recalled that earlier this past week what was erroneously seen as a reenactment of the hurricane going on in the Arms purchase scandal or another monumental fraud scandal was alleged to be brewing in the nations National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). But this sensational social media report appears superfluous and lacks verifiable substance. 
 In the unconfirmed report those who anonymously uploaded the allegations online alleged that it     stumbled on a report with several incriminating documents on what it called the monumental fraud perpetrated by the Director General of NEMA, Alhaji Sani Sidi with the Head of Procurement Abdullahi Usur.
Specifically, in one of the documents from the untraceable investigators, A contract for landscaping was awarded at a whooping cost of N3, 000,000,000.00 (Three Billion Naira) to V&Q Concepts Limited. Also contract for car park canopy was awarded allegedly to ELLISS & TRUDY LTD for an outrageous contract price of N1,350,000,000.00 (One billion, Three hundred and fifty million Naira.
But the investigations initiated suo moto by HURIWA has so far revealed that there appears to be no concrete evidence to confer credibility to these allegations. 
"Our team of trained private investigators are combing all nooks and crannies of NEMA and on the interim the allegations can't be substantiated with physical and/evidence based proofs."

Thursday, 10 December 2015



Prior to his momentous victory in March 2015 in which he reportedly defeated the incumbent president Dr Goodluck Jonathan, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (GCON) as he then was, battled vigorously to dust off a perception by most Nigerians about his antecedence as a military dictator who introduced draconian decrees that emasculated the fundamental freedoms that citizens are entitled to.
Thrice he tried to become through the power of the ballots, the president of a democratic Nigeria, but thrice he lost. Buhari presided over a twenty months brutal military regime in the mid 1980’s that became notorious for publicly executing drug traffickers who were convicted to death retroactively as against global best practices.
With the notoriety that his past experimentation as a military dictator attained, he was therefore packaged as a born again democrat willing to right his past wrongs in terms of respect for the fundamental rights of Nigerians. His political party which is an amalgam of divergent political affiliates from the South West bankrolled by former governor Mr Bola Ahmed Tinubu and a remnant of the fractious All Progressives Grand Alliance which followed Imo State governor into APC,  fought so hard to convince Nigerians that Muhammadu Buhari who sought our votes isn’t the same persona with the former brutal dictator with less than salutary human rights credentials. All political parties seeking offices know what it entails to operate constitutional democracy.
Respect for the Rule of Law and the Fundamental Rights of Nigerians are central to the democratization process and for adherence to constitutionalism which Nigeria has since ascribed to in over two decades since the last vestiges of military tyranny were wiped out in a voluntary stepping aside conducted in 1998 by the then Military dictator General Abdulsalami Alhaji Abubakar (GCON) (rtd).
Even under the very obviously imperfect constitution of the Federal Republic of 1999 bequeathed to us by the military junta which arbitrarily chose some wise men that drafted it and consequently amended the Nigerian Constitution which is the grund norm provides for respect to the rule of law. The constitution is supreme and its provisions shall have binding force on all authorities and persons throughout the federal republic of Nigeria.
But since May 2015, that President Buhari was inaugurated, a number of illegal acts have been perpetrated by an agency of government created under the law which is known as theDepartment for State Service or State Security Services (SSS).
Two ongoing litigations involving erstwhile National Security Adviser Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, the Director of a Europe based Radio Biafra and leader of the indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB) have provided ample evidence of the gross disrespect by the Department of State Service of the orders of the Courts of Competent Jurisdiction.
The constitution has clearly separated the powers and functions of all organs of government and the reason being that this would serve as effective safeguard to the concentration of imperial power on an arm of government.
It is in the light of the above and indeed the need to preserve and nurture democracy and constitutionalism that section 6(1) of the Constitution provides that: “The judicial powers of the Federation shall be vested in the courts to which this section relates, being courts established for the Federation.”
The Department of State Security as an agency of the executive arm of government must operate within the legal framework that binds all persons and authorities. If any of the security agencies are allowed to disrespect valid decisions of the Courts or to pick and choose which Court order to obey, then we may sooner than later kiss goodbye to civility, rule of law and Constitutional democracy and stands the danger of returning to what Thomas Hobbes the Philosopher identifies as The State of Nature whereby life is short, brutish and miserable and whereby might is always right.
Montesquieu who was born as Charles- Louis de second near Bordeaux in France remains the father of political philosophy who developed  and expounded the concept of separation of power with the fundamental objectives of stable government with minimal risk of decline into despotism.
The flagrant breaches of the Rule of Law by the Department for state Services are grave danger signals that must not be allowed to snowball into full blown dictatorship.
How can armed security operatives totally disrespect  valid court orders from the Federal High Court Abuja, authorizing the immediate past National Security Adviser to travel for a very urgent medical treatment and only for the Federal government to hurriedly produce an interim investigative findings of a committee probing procurement of weapons since 2007 and to use a purported indictment as the basis for violating a valid court order?
The same DSS has flouted two bail orders granted Mr. Nnamdi Kanu of the Indigenous People of Biafra only for this security agency to go behind the Magistrate Court to fish for a detention order against Nnamdi Kanu for another 90 days even when they were ordered by the first court they took the defendant to let him go on bail? This illegal ambush and voyage of discovery by DSS or is it SSS will imperil the  Rule of law and stands absolutely condemned.
Now the DSS has disingenuously prayed the same Magistrate Court in Abuja to discontinue the trial of Mr. Nnamdi Kanu because the agency has suddenly discovered that the defendant is sponsoring terrorism.
What kind of practice is this? Why arrest a citizen, detain the person under inhumane conditions for many weeks only to return to the same Court with this sort of flimsy reason to discontinue the matter?
For the sake of public interest, President Buhari must call these persons masquerading as agents of Department of State Security to order to stop them from subjecting Nigeria to international ridicule. This impunity must be extinguished before Mr President enters the Guinness world Book of record as a civilian in military and tyrannical garb.
These tendencies of playing around with the civil liberties of citizens as exhibited by the DSS is a sharp reminder of why saint Augustine of Hippo was compelled to define overreaching officials of government as follows:“if Justice be taken away, what are government but great bands of robbers”.
Augustine also rightly reminded contemporary Nigerian rulers that:“without justice an association of men in the bond of law cannot possibly continue.”
Is President Buhari not aware of the meaning and intent of Section 36 (5) of the Nigerian Constitution which provides as follows: “every person who is charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed to be innocent until he is proved guilty?”
Why is the National Assembly not calling the DSS to order or is this National Assembly a mere contraption set up only to enrich a few who are privileged to be so elected to occupy the legislative seats for a given term? It is in the self enlightened interest of Nigeria that the National Assembly wakes up from slumber and uses their legislative powers of checks and balances to ensure that DSS Operatives respect the law.
Professor Anya O. Anya once noted that “democracy presumes the primacy of laws and due process, the independence of the Judiciary, the separation of powers as between the legislative and the executive and political accountability.”
The National Assembly must seriously wake up now to stop security operatives and their overzealous hierarchies from disrespecting the courts and bringing our democracy into global opprobrium.
Let the relevant committees of the National Assembly begin the immediate and effective oversight of such bodies like the DSS and police to stop the ongoing violations of the fundamental rights of citizens.
In his words captured in his lecture titled: “The Challenge of Good Governance in a Democracy- a Nigerian Prospectus,” Professor AnyaStated that: “…By granting legitimacy to the government and encouraging all citizens to participate In decision- making about problems that concern them, contributes to the effectiveness of development policies and strategies… by actually forcing the government to actually carry out its responsibilities and by making government actions more transparent, democratic institutions and practices (as symbolized by the legislature) tend to limit, contain and prevent problems such as arbitrary policy (choices), nepotism, injustice and totalitarianism … democratic institutions confer greater ‘voice ‘to community concerns…”    
*Emmanuel Onwubiko is Head of Human rights Writers association of Nigeria and blogs,, 

Human rights and the right of Nigerians to education

Human rights and the right of Nigerians to education

Human rights and the right of Nigerians to education

Human rights are the rights we enjoy for being human. It is as simple as that. So long as we are human beings, we are entitled to these inalien­able rights, which indeed make us humans. Human rights are based on the principle of respect for the individual and, therefore, universally inherent in all human beings regardless of their nation, location, language, religion, eth­nic origin or any other status. The fundamental assumption is that each person is a moral and rational being who deserves to be treated with dignity. No human being, no matter who they may be, has the right to abridge these rights or trample on them.
Key substantive rights are: right to life, freedom from torture, freedom from slavery, right to a fair trial, and freedom of speech. Others are: freedom of thought, conscience and religion, freedom of movement and right to educa­tion. Of all the said substantive rights, perhaps the most impor­tant, after the right to life, is the right to education. The Right to Education is protected by: Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Articles 13 & 14 of the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights and Articles 28,29 & 40 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The Right to Education is a uni­versal entitlement to education. This includes the right to free, compulsory primary education for all, an obligation to develop and make secondary education accessible to all, in particular by the progressive introduction of free secondary education, as well as an obligation to develop equi­table access to higher education, ideally by the progressive intro­duction of free higher education.
The Right to Education also in­cludes a responsibility to provide basic education for individuals who have not completed primary education. In addition to these access to education provisions, the right to education encom­passes the obligation to rule out discrimination at all levels of the educational system, to set mini­mum standards and to improve the quality of education.
The 1960 UNESCO Conven­tion against Discrimination in Education defines education in Article 1(2) as: “all types and lev­els of education, (including) ac­cess to education, the standard and quality of education, and the conditions under which it is given.”
In a wider sense, education may describe all activities by which a human group transmits to its descendants a body of knowl­edge and skills and a moral code, which enable the group to subsist. In this sense, education refers to the transmission to a subsequent generation of those skills needed to perform tasks of daily living, and further passing on the social, cultural, spiritual and philosoph­ical values of the particular com­munity.
Overall, it is the duty of the Government to educate the citi­zens to acquire the right skills to live responsibly and contribute their quotas to nation building. Even where the Government is not able to provide education free, it should, at least, make qual­ity education available at minimal costs.
Being a signatory to the UN Charters on the Right to Educa­tion, Nigeria has made universal basic education free and compul­sory through the introduction of the Universal Basic Education Act. This Act seeks the realiza­tion of the right to education on a national level to be achieved through free compulsory prima­ry education, as stated in both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Cov­enant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
The fulfillment of the right to education in Nigeria can be as­sessed using the 4 As framework, which asserts that for educa­tion to be meaningful, it must be available, accessible, acceptable and adaptable. The slogan of the UBE is: “No child shall be left be­hind”. Yet, records have it that the numbers of out of school children of school going age of 6 to 16 are over 10 million. And the UN Re­port also has it that the North east harbors the world’s highest con­centrations of illiterate people.
Coupled with the falling stan­dards of education in the country, 10 million out of school children clearly shows that education does not occupy a place of premium in Nigeria. The Authority is wor­ried that nation’s only lip service to education ignores the dan­gers it poses to building a society without a knowledge base. This development has affected quality of education, value system and availability of trained manpower. While urging the Government to declare a state of emergency in education and for the centrality of education to nation building, The Authority shall devote a few more editorials to discussing the employability of Nigerian gradu­ates and the ways out of the quag­mire, which education has found itself in Nigeria.
On human rights generally in Nigeria, the verdict is still far from meeting internationally ac­ceptable minimum standards. The killing of unarmed pro-Bi­afra agitators and the records of Nigerian military in the prosecu­tion of war against the insurgency in the north east, as contained in a recent report of Amnesty Inter­national, all show retrogressions in this respect and underscores the need for more work in order to have a total turnaround

Troubling Human Rights Situation in Nigeria

Troubling Human Rights Situation in Nigeria

Troubling Human Rights Situation in Nigeria
Nigeria will on December 10th 2015 join the rest of mankind to mark half a century since the United Nations General Assembly adopted two international treaties that would forever shape international human rights: The International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

Sadly, whilst progressive democratic nations such as the United Kingdom and Spain amongst many other Euro American countries are expanding the frontiers of how their citizens drink from the abundant fountains of Freedoms including the RIGHT TO DEMAND SELF DETERMINATION  AND SELF RULE guaranteed under the abovementioned international humanitarian laws, Nigeria on the other hand has found itself in an era of press repression and the muzzling of fundamental freedoms of speech and peaceful assembly.  The Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is enmeshed in the scandal of mulling a legislation that could stifle freedom of the media especially access to the social media. But the presence of some devout human rights crusaders like Senator Shehu Sani; Senator David Umaru amongst others is reassuring that this bad bill may never become realistic.  But on the angle of freedom of speech and peaceful assembly Nigeria is not doing well at all and security agencies have given Nigeria terribly bad image internationally. 
For a month now Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari an erstwhile military dictator, captured in the most brazen manner Mr Nnamdi Kanu from his hotel room in Lagos when he arrived from his adopted country of Great Britain and this prisoner of Conscience who hails originally from Abia State has been detained under crushing and inhumane situation by the officials of the Department for State Security Services for some strange reason that he is the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra and that he runs an illegal radio from Europe known as Radio Biafra. 
Principally, most youth from the South East of Nigeria have deep feelings of alienation and are demanding a referendum to decide whether a Republic known as Biafra or any other name can be granted them since the Federal Government of Nigeria has treated the South East of Nigeria as a 'conquered territory' fifty years after civil war. 
But the Nigerian police and armed security operatives have on several occasions crushed decisively those peaceful and constructive civil rights movements and protest marches in the South East organized under the aegis of the Indigenous People of Biafra in partnership with some elements within the Movement for the Sovereign State of Biafra. 
The question on most people's lips is how come Nigerian President mounted global podium in New York to campaign for the Right of the Palestinian people for self determination at the just ended United Nations General Assembly  (UNGA) but returned to Nigeria to order this kinds of military crackdown on dissent and the arbitrary arrest and detention of civil rights leaders such as Mr Nnamdi Kanu and hundreds of other Igbo stakeholders just for exercising their basic human rights to Freedom of Expression and peaceful assembly to demand self determination covered under international laws and indeed the same body of international laws now being celebrated in this year's World Human Rights Day?  Why this hypocrisy?  
Anyway let's return to the history of these aforementioned global human rights laws, we now know that they were created in the aftermath of WWII, the two Covenants along with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights became the International Bill of Human Rights setting out the civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights that are the birth right of all human beings. Nigeria has incorporated the Universal Declaration of Human rights into chapter four of the Nigerian Constitution making Nigeria a constitutional democracy in writing. But why is Nigeria failing in her obligations to protect and promote the basic rights to free assembly and free speech? The office of the High Commissioner on human rights has correctly concluded that the bringing into being of the two aforementioned laws or sets of treaties marked a watershed in the global annals of human rights but also stated as follows: "Since that time a fundamental sea change has occurred across the world, with many countries recognizing human rights and the rule of law as the basis for truly resilient and stable societies".

The Two Covenants in the assessment of stakeholders globally are More Relevant today than ever but we well know challenges remain but a common thread binding humanity together is the universal acceptance of the indubitable fact that FREEDOM underpins the International Bill of Human Rights  which can be summed up as freedom from fearfreedom of speech, freedom of worship and freedom from want. Nigeria has done badly in all of these rights. In the North the Boko Haram terrorists have bombed worshippers of both Christian and Islamic faiths and the uprisings have made it impossible for Nigerians to enjoy these fundamental human rights. 
The international community has also expressed frustration that Fifty years on, many people are still unaware of the existence of the International Bill of Human Rights and many countries around the world still have much to do to build political institutions, judicial systems, and economies that allow ordinary people to live with dignity. The growth of hate speech against religious and racial minorities, the justification of rights violations in the name of combating terrorism, the clawing back of economic and social rights in the name of economic crises or security, and the failure to respect the right to privacy in the digital age, show the relevance of the two Covenants and the need to respect them, according to an essay from the office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights.
To promote and raise awareness of the two Covenants on their 50th anniversary, the UN Human Rights Office is launching on Human Rights Day “Our Rights, Our Freedoms, Always." a year-long campaign to shine a light on the inalienable and inherent rights of global citizens -- now, and always. Nigerians are indeed going to benefit if the right frame of minds are built and the institutional processes and mechanisms put in place through credible governmentaland non governmental platforms to educate Nigerians on their rights and obligations as members of the civilised World. Nigeria needs to abolish torture and police and security operatives who commit murder and carry out torture against detainees must be made to face the full weight of the law. Nigeria needs to make laws to clearly outlaw torture so clear punishment terms are provided for to put an end to police impunity.
“Our Rights, Our Freedoms, Always.” revolves around the timeless themes of rights and freedom and the relevance of the work that continues in securing and ensuring them. At its core, FREEDOM, underpins the International Bill of Human Rights – freedom from fear, freedom of speech, freedom of worship and freedom from want." These are the landmark conclusions of the United Nations Human Rights Council. 
The office of the High commissioner for Human Rights stated that on Human Rights Day, members of the human race are invited to join in celebrating 50 years of freedom as embodied in the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). These four freedoms are as relevant today as they were fifty years back. Nigeria is not an island and so must put measures in place to promote these rights. The National Human Rights Commission has to be restructured so the most competent human rights activists are appointed into executive offices in the commission to speed up the mobilisation and enlightenment of Nigerians on their human rights and put judicial meadures to prosecute human rights violators.  For instance those security operatives who instigate extra legal killings of civilian protesters in South east of Nigeria must be brought to book because peaceful agitations for self determination is not a crime at all.
Besides, the agitation for self rule in the South East of Nigeria has become resounding because of the absence of a sense of belonging in the nation state of Nigeria given a number of factors including marginalization by way of denial of significant Federal presence of strategic infrastructure such as good roads network and agricultural dams.
The South East of Nigeria is crude oil rich but it has no got no single refinery built by the Federal Government of Nigeria. The South East Region was devastated almost forty years back during the civil war but no concerted reconstruction process was done.
The South East of Nigeria dominated by Igbo is the only major ethnic bloc not appointed into the constitutional body known as National Defence Council by this current government. With over 40 million speakers, how can President Buhari alienate the South East from this strategic military appointment?
The people of South East have lost patience in the slave ideologies that the Nigerian State has foisted on them.
As we mark the 2015 World HUMAN RIGHTS Day it is appropriate to ask and find out “What happens when the slave reaches this new kind of self realization-yet is not ready for a fight to the death?
 At this point Hegel the philosopher argues thus: "the slave finds “slave ideologies” that justify his position including stoicism (in which he rejects external freedom for mental freedom), skepticism (in which he doubts the value of external freedom), and unhappy consciousness (in which he finds religion and escape but only in another world)”.
Hegel finds these Master-Slave relationships in many places-in the wars between stronger states and weaker states, and conflicts between social classes and other groupings. For Hegel, human existence is an endless fight to the death for recognition, and this fight can never properly be resolved.
Let the Nigerian Government be serious about respecting human rights of citizens and stop this hypocrisy of appearing in international fora to pretend to be democratic when in reality the opposite is the case.
*Emmanuel Onwubiko is Head of Human rights Writers association of Nigeria and blogs,,