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Friday, 20 February 2015

BEYOND Arik staff's heist of Aviation fuel By Emmanuel Onwubiko

Back then in the Catholic Senior Seminary nearly two decades now, we were told by a certain lecturer that in Africa wonders shall never end. With time and following series of emerging experiences that seemed bizarre and out- of -this World that have occurred in Nigeria over multiple times, it is safe to assume that the saying will be reframed and rephrased to look this way- ''In Nigeria wonders shall never end''.
Let me prove to you that I am not blabbing. Was it not in this current dispensation in Nigeria's politics that a sitting senator from Zamfara state and indeed the former governor of that state jetted off to Egypt and brought with him a 'human trophy' back to Abuja in the name of marriage and as events unfolded it emerged that the 'virgin' imported into Nigeria from Egypt is the thirteen year old child bride that this senator married in no other place but Abuja the Nigerian capital.  Mind you there is an extant legislation known as the Child Rights Act of the year 2003 passed and signed into law by the National Assembly and the President. This piece of law bans child marriage and imposed several grave judicial penalties including time in prison for any convicted paedophile in Nigeria but the Nigerian State looked the other way whilst this senator went home with his child bride and Heavens haven't fallen. National Anti-Human Trafficking Agency known as NAPTIP connived with this powerful politician to subvert the law against child marriage. 
Another sample is not far fetched. In Britain where I am penning this piece the killing of even a toddler by any way suspicious including through avoidable vehicular accident is viewed as a serious matter which would immediately tasked the state to commence rapid and comprehensive investigation including coroner inquiry to determine the remote and immediate causes of the death of that toddler and if any person is indicted of any criminal breach such a person is appropriately charged with the speed of lightening but what do you see in Nigeria my homeland, one hundred worshippers perished in a certain Church owned by an influential self acclaimed prophet in Lagos and several weeks and months after this unfortunate mass deaths caused by the collapsed of the Church owned hotel facilities suspected of having been built illegally, the judicial probe set up belatedly by the Lagos state government is moving at an astonishing snail speed and the main character had the privilege of been visited by the President of the Republic and sadly the majority of the casualties are foreign visitors who visited in search of miracles. Relatedly, well, over fifteen thousand Nigerians have been massacred in the last three years by the dreaded Boko Haram armed Islamists fighting in the North East of Nigeria but not up to ten persons have been jailed  for these dastardly and atrocious acts of terrorism and barbarity. It is not for want of political will on the side of the Federal Government alone but even the civil society; community and religious based organizations have conveniently gone to bed and are not making any deliberate effort to put the central and state governments under intense pressure to institute strong and effective prosecution of those armed fighters arrested and accused of some of these range of mass killings. In no time these arrested terrorist may be granted soft landing if some of their sponsors manage to win the next elections.
With the above strange developments in mind, the recent disclosure by the Aviation Minister, Osita Chidoka,  that the ministry has arrested three Arik Air staff for stealing fuel from an aircraft may just pass as one of those unusual happenings that have become the usual in Nigeria of the twenty first century and these culprits may as well be let off the hook even as the nation will not take time to reflect extensively on the larger implication of this type of heist which on the longer run has the diabolical capacity of causing air disasters if it was not noticed. Mind you Arik is the largest private airline in Nigeria and indeed the only very few with a good safety record. So I ask has some rival airlines sent these moles on an assignment to derail this lofty safety record of this company?
Media reports stated that Mr. Chidoka said on his official Facebook page that the trio of Blessing Dugbe, Samuel Asuquo and Isaac Ajakaiye were arrested at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, during a security patrol operation on Sunday at about around 3 a.m.
Mr. Chidoka said the trio were stealing Jet A1 fuel from Arik Air plane, with registration number: 5N-MID into six jerry cans for sales at cheaper price to other unsuspecting airline operators.
“A development that has capacity, to threaten safety and security of airplanes. Meanwhile, the three (3) suspects were handed over to the Crime Investigation Bureau (CIB), AVSEC MMIA for further action,” Mr. Chidoka said.
He said in the aviation industry’s fight against corruption and security breaches, other chief security officers and heads of aviation security have been alerted and directed to intensify patrol and surveillance operations at various
airports across Nigeria.
He said considering the magnitude of the crime to the security and safety of airplanes, the chief security officer of the Lagos airport has been asked to ensure that the suspects are handed over to the airport police for adequate prosecution.
The last/preceding paragraph completely defeats the essence of crime fighting. Hand them over to these 'egunje' seeking Nigerian Police? Well I am told also that even some officers of the then dreaded Economic and financial crimes commission have started collecting bribes and allowing suspects to have soft landing. I am told also that the prosecution team of this anti-graft agency also engages in the past time of demanding and obtaining huge brown envelopes from suspects to enable them wriggle out of their legal quagmire. But for these concupiscence of the men and officers of the anti-corruption agencies which includes the Independent anti corruption panel[ ICPC] I would have suggested that the three economic saboteurs arrested for stealing aviation fuel should have been dragged to court by EFCC to face charges of not only theft but also charges of economic sabotage. Nigeria in the last three years became a laughing stock in the aviation World when our local planes started falling off the skylines due to poor standards and regulations by the regulatory bodies in the Nigerian aviation industry. Can you now see why these three thieving staffers of Arik should be dealt with decisively if found guilty by the competent courts of law? Many cases handled by the Nigerian Police have ended up in muddy waters. What of the murdered Miss Osokogu's case and the case of the murdered four University of Port Harcourt students killed by villagers in Aluu, Ikwere, Rivers State? Nigerian Police have substantially become so compromised that a lot of Nigerians believe that the best way to muddle up a criminal case is to allow the police handle it.
The Minister of Finance Mrs Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala told an audience in a recent public social forum by a Roman Catholic think tank in Nigeria that corruption will continue to thrive in Nigeria so long as the institutions to fight this menace are weak. Now I ask, why is Nigerian state unwilling to make these anti-graft institutions strong and effective? Who is afraid of an effective anti-corruption regime in Nigeria? I also ask why is the Nigerian state and people of Nigeria not bothered about building strong policing institution? Why is everybody comfortable with this dysfunctional dysfunctionality called the Nigerian Police Force? Who is afraid of state and local police? I bet you that these three alleged thieves of the aviation fuel will be set free once they can bribe their way out and the political minister who has made publicity with their case will be busy fighting to return to his juicy post after election in the next few weeks than to monitor closely the case.
Now this is why I said this case will die a premature natural death- we were told that this is not the first time that Arik staff are accused of theft. Passengers have often lamented the loss of one item or the other aboard the airline’s flights, so wrote an influential Nigerian online newspaper.
In an exclusive report by an online paper which also broke the story of the aviation fuel theft, in June 2014 some passengers lamented how they lost items ranging from iPad, jewelleries, clothes to perfumes.
A passenger interviewed for that report complained that the lock on her luggage was broken aboard a flight to Johannesburg, South Africa.
Also, a popular Nigerian blogger, Japhet Omojuwa, once accused the airline’s flight attendants of stealing his iPad aboard one of its aircrafts. That the staff of private airlines in Nigeria have graduated into stealing aviation fuel which is capable of endangering aviation safety is a threat to national security and concerted action must be put in place to check this menace and nip it in the bud. Those caught for such dastardly and sinister crime should be treated as economic saboteurs and not just as petty thieves.
The Nigerian people must stand up and shout to high heavens for these aviation fuel thieves to be taught a harsh lesson because if they go scot-free and continue in this atrocity then the lives of passengers would be jeopardised. A stich in time saves nine.

*Emmanuel Onwubiko is Head of Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria and blogs;,


Tuesday, 10 February 2015


The above caption was given to me by an Ethiopian Religious leader I ran into in Heathrow Airport in London the United Kingdom on Sunday February 8th 2015. Well before this man made this revealing and inspirational catchy phrase during our on- the- spur of the moment conversation while waiting for a train to arrive and take me to somewhere in central London to catch my sleep in one of the economy hotels I booked online after a gruelling session of traveling from Abuja my beautiful nation's capital of Nigeria something funny happened to me as I made to pass through the British Border Post at the prestigious Heathrow Airport [Terminal five] and these experiences will linger in my memories for years.

I do not wish to wet your appetites any further as I intend to just tell you what happened to me even though I do not intend to classify it as racial profiling since the bulk of the officers of the British Border team that I saw whilst my harsh encounters lasted were even darker in skin colour than my humble self whose chocolate and/or ebony black colour can be mistaken for a Black American. Americans as you may have known are well respected in Britain.

Dear beautiful readers, I was to  be processed by this beautiful looking White British Immigration officer to enter the territory of the United Kingdom where I have chosen to spend few days holidaying after nearly two years of working relentlessly without break but this interview that ordinarily ought not to have lasted few minutes took approximately an hour as this lady who is not half my age kept unleashing one question to the other regarding why, what, when and where I planned to do in the United Kingdom and of all the questions one of them sounded to be so awkward and revealing. She saw my old ECOWAS passport and demanded to know when I stopped working for ECOWAS but I repeatedly educated her that what she has before her very eyes is Economic Community of West African Countries regional passport and not staff identity card and its not relevant to these whole questions of why I am in the United Kingdom.

This British Immigration officer after about twenty five minutes of bombarding me with questions even asking why I haven't travelled with my wife as if there is now a universal law that husbands must always travel with their wives, she then took out a small white sheet of paper with some printed inscriptions and signed out some few words and handed it over to me and never allowed me the comfort of even reading through what she gave me she matched me to a near by counter and detained me in the full glare of thousands of international travellers. Interestingly, she excused herself with my passports and rushed to her other colleagues and gestured to me that she would be back in a jiffy. But who said she would?  This lady kept me detained in this open detention facility within Heathrow Airport for nearly 45 minutes and sadly while I sat down other two groups of people who were clearly Nigerians were similarly walked into this open place and were also told to seat and await the decision. As I glanced through that white paper served on me I could see lots of British Immigration laws cited showing that I am completely at the mercy of this young girl and that whatever she decides will be followed to the last instruction regarding whether I should be allowed entry  into the United Kingdom or not. I wasn't really worried if I would be allowed in because first of all it was my wife that practically encouraged me to fly to the United Kingdom to take a deserved holiday after this long period of hard work including producing a book described in a critical The Guardian Book review page as 'Massive'. I wasn't bothered if I would be asked to return with the next available flight since that would greatly conserve the scarce British Pounds sterling that have become like white falcons that can not be seen easily in Nigeria with the rapidly declining international asking price of crude oil which Nigeria depends entirely as the only major source of foreign revenue. So I said to myself if this girl asked that I should be repatriated back to Nigeria at least what I have on me which I would have spent on hotels and other freebies in the UK can comfortable finish up my on-going building project in Owerri, the Imo state capital. 

Well, discovering that she was dead wrong in keeping an innocent man for no just cause other than she was not totally abreast of the facts surrounding the document she saw with me, she returned and asked me to follow her. I did. So when I thought that it is finished, she smiled and gave me back my documents and almost like practically ushering me into 'Paradise'. Well, before allowing me to finally go she became unusually friendly with an uncanny sense and intelligence of still trying to discover other hidden facts about me. She asked me why I once cancelled my trip to the United Kingdom in December 2014 and so when I educated her that the  technical hitches that occurred in Heathrow made it impossible for flights to land for like two days within those same times I intended to travel forcing me to cancel my trip and further informed her that I am only recently recovering from my flight fright or fear of flying, she looked at me with sympathy and asked if I now find it comfortable to fly and I answered in the affirmative and so we parted ways and I made to enter the luggage's compartments to retrieve my two bags but what I also experienced in the hands of one hyper active customs officer is to say the least discouraging and seriously reinforced the idea that Nigerians are  indeed the 'wretched' of the Earth if they continue to delay the much expected revolution to fix Nigeria once and for all. If Nigeria is fixed and made to work and all criminal elements are rein and made to pay for their heinous crimes then some of us who even don't normally like flying around the World would just drive by train to places like Obudu cattle ranch and even places of interest like the Bauchi Reserves to while away time during holidays and even save the scarce foreign currency we would blow if we travel to the Western World. It baffles every right thinking person that Nigeria's political elites would travel to functional nations outside the shores of Nigeria and live in places that look like semi-paradise on Earth but would return back to Nigeria to lord it on the poor masses and preside over the massive looting and stealing of our commonwealth. That reminds me of this Permanent Secretary in the current Nigerian Federal Government who once worked in the office of Head of Service of the Federation who I saw in the first class compartments of the British Airway flight that brought us to the United Kingdom. This same Head of Service of Nigerian Civil Service just released a national ban on foreign trips for top government officials and here is this same Permanent Secretary that once worked in that office traveling to Europe in a big way only hours after the ban on foreign trip with government fund was issued. This same man in the days of struggle as a journalist can hardly buy himself economy ticket but that Sunday I say him with my own eyes enjoying first class ride to the United Kingdom even when his other political class members are dancing on the graves of thousands of Nigerians murdered in their sleep by terrorists and mass hunger in the land. 

Away from this unmitigated digression. This custom British officer accosted me and demanded that I opened my bags and I did. He politely took out some of my items and run them through a computer and came back after about five minutes and smilingly gave them back to me and wished me happy stay in Britain.

And so when I came out after these grueling times with the British Immigration and customs and met this Ethiopian man who saw me and asked if I am a Nigerian and when I told him yes the next thing he told me was that he keeps wondering why Nigerians have failed to fix their country. He said Abuja is such a beautiful modern city and that he was shocked to constantly read in the press that Boko Haram armed Islamic rebels are threatening to wipe out the Christian minority tribes in North East and to ruin Nigeria and also said he was shocked that the Nigerian military doesn't seem to know what to do to crush these rebels and restore peace and tranquility to Nigeria. I agreed with him particularly when he generously display good and working knowledge of Lagos and Abuja and I too told him that I am as shocked as he s since there is no where like home. In Nigeria Our immigration officers are so courteous that they welcome people of different races with the smile of warmth and hospitality but here in the Europe the immigration officers will first believe that you are a criminal until proven otherwise by you. Why do they believe that any Nigerian that enters legitimately into Britain may not likely take himself or herself home? This is a hugely deficient reasoning since I myself been someone that has travelled and returned to my home country on several counts can as well be seen with an eye of suspicion. So you see why I said that I am dead shocked that the Nigerian political elite are doing everything in their evil political lexicon to destroy Nigeria so they can escape to enjoy their loots. But they are making the worst mistake of their lives because no matter how much you may have accumulated in your offshore accounts so long as you have no foreign passports you would still be seen as a crook who intends to hide away from the immigration officials. So its crazy that Nigerian can't fix Nigeria.

*Emmanuel Onwubiko heads HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA and blogs;;


Monday, 9 February 2015


A civil Rights platform-HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA [HURIWA] has challenged the hierarchy of the Independent National Electoral Commission [INEC] to redress the systemic anomalies noticed in the distribution of the so-called Permanent Voter's Cards which it says is skewed in favour of the Northern Region  even as the Rights group demanded full independent Commission of Inquiry to probe the damaging allegations raised by the second republic civilian governor of old Kaduna Alhaji Balarabe Musa that the current INEC's leadership is scheming out states suspected of being strong support base of one of the presidential Candidates in the distribution of the PVCs.

Besides, the Rights group upbraided the top commanders of the nation's armed forces for scuttling the proposed February 14/28th General elections and forcing the electoral panel to shift the dates only on the nebulous ground that the armed forces will not provide security for the elections if it proceeded on the previously agreed dates. HURIWA said military authorities are subordinate to civilian authorities in line with the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution and that the resort to the use of subterfuge and coercion by the security chiefs to force a shift in election timelines amounted to high treason which must not be swept under the carpets because of its far reaching adverse implications to the larger goals and objectives of building sustainable culture of democracy and rule of law in Nigeria. 

HURIWA has thereby urged President Good luck Jonathan to call his military service chiefs to order even as the Rights group also blamed the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission headed by Professor Attahiru Jega for bringing Nigeria's electoral calendar into disrepute and creating room for the military top brass to play the less than impressive and indeed illegal role of busy bodies and interlopers who have now threatened the sanctity of our democracy. ''But for the apparent display of ruthless unprofessionalism and crass incompetence in the conduct of the national voters registration exercise and the consequential lopsided and criminally manipulated distribution of the permanent voter's cards these misbehaving and 'power drunk' top military commanders wouldn't have found any alibi to sabotage the independently chosen dates for the Nigerian General elections which has now been tinkered with''.

In a media statement signed jointly by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA said the leadership of the electoral panel under Professor Jega has failed spectacularly to ensure that no state of the federation or indeed no ethnic nationality in the Nigerian federation is carefully, systematically and indeed criminally schemed out and hugely discriminated against in the distribution of the permanent voter's cards  just as it condemned totally the alleged lopsided distribution of these voters cards In favour of certain geopolitical interests in Northern Nigeria with a clear agendum to deny and discriminate against the potential voters of South East region.  HURIWA has hereby called on right thinking Nigerians to continue to speak out and demand that INEC redresses these anomalies because of its manifest unconstitutionality and the glaring breach of chapter four of the Nigerian constitution which prohibits discrimination on the basis of ethnicity in the implementation of government policies and the inherent but sinister plots to deny the people of the South East region of their constitutionally guaranteed civil and political rights to vote and be voted for. 

''HURIWA hereby calls on Mr. President to constitute an independent judicial commission of inquiry to investigate these range of allegations of directly scheming out the South East people from the current distribution of permanent voter's cards by INEC. The lopsided practice of using the traditional institution of the Northern Region to distribute the PVCs and also denying the traditional institution of South East region the same privilege to rapidly distribute the permanent voters cards to their validly recognized registered subjects amounted to injustice and the height of impunity which must be thoroughly probed and redressed by an independent body. We support the call by most right thinking Nigerian that the May 29th 2015 transition date must remain sacrosanct. The accusations flying around in Lagos state of the refusal by INEC officials to give the PVCs to voters of South East origin must be investigated and the indicted culprits tried for high treason.''


Wednesday, 4 February 2015

*HURIWA Accuses Abia, Katsina And Kaduna State Governments of Intolerance: *WANTS ABIA RADIO AND TV SANCTIONED BY NBC:

Worried by the undue use of the state owned media institutions in Abia State to consistently demonize opposition politicians and especially the All Progressives Grand Alliance [APGA] Governorship Candidate in the 2015 February Governorship Election Mr. Alex Otti by the Abia state Government, a pro-democracy Non-Governmental Organization-HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA [HURIWA] has challenged the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission [NBC] to sanction these broadcasting agencies to serve as deterrent to others.
HURIWA said it was unconstitutional, absolutely illegal and the height of moral depravity that the Abia state government will put the office of the State ministry of information and the publicly funded electronic media houses to the partisan services of only the current state ruling party-Peoples Democratic Party’s governorship Candidate Dr Okezie Ikpeazu when in fact those institutions belong rightly to the generality of the tax payers and good people of Abia State.
The Rights group also faulted the involvement of the holder of the office of commissioner for information in Abia state serviced with tax payers money from operating as the propaganda chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party’s governorship candidate. The Rights group said that it is a gross violation of the relevant provisions of the extant and binding electoral Act which prohibits the use of government fund for electioneering campaign even as it has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission [INEC] to check these excesses of the Abia state commissioner for information.
Besides, HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA [HURIWA] has also carpeted the Kaduna and Katsina State Governors Mr Remalan Yero and Alhaji Ibrahim Shema for reportedly making veiled threats against political opponents who are campaigning for the seats of governors of those states in the forthcoming polls. The Rights group said it was unbelievable that several weeks after a section of the investigative online media community in Nigeria made the shocking allegations that Kastina State Governor reportedly called on his supporters to attack political opponents of the ruling party in the state because they are like cockroaches and the Kaduna state governor was allegedly caught on the recorded tape warning that his political platform will return ‘fire-for-fire’ against perceived political adversaries, the Nigerian Law enforcement agencies have failed to take up the challenge to investigate these damaging revelations and take proactive security measures to forestall the breakdown of law and order.
HURIWA has therefore blamed the failure of the law enforcement agencies to probe these range of allegations of threats to unleash violence for the reported inter-party unrests that took place in Kaduna city on Tuesday February 3rd 2015 which has resulted in the reported  killing of undetermined number of party loyalists on both sides of the political divides in the state. The Rights group warned the state governors not to hide under the mistaken impression of immunity clause under section 308 of the Nigerian constitution to allegedly undermine the rule of law since according to it the immunity provisions does not preclude investigation of alleged crime and prosecution of the culprits even after the expiration of the constitutional terms of office.
HURIWA also warned political opposition parties in Kaduna state to stop their overzealous members from throwing stones at the convoys of the Kaduna state governor during his ongoing reelection campaign. The police and other law enforcement institutions must arrest and prosecute these political hoodlums to stop the escalation of political violence in the eve of this landmark elections.
In a statement jointly authorized by the national coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA stated that; ” We are worried about the one sided and destructive use to which the Abia State government has put the Abia state owned Radio and television to specifically and consistently target the demonization of the governorship candidate of the opposition All Progressives Grand Alliance [APGA] Mr. Alex Otti by peddling unsubstantiated and outrightly false allegations of arming private militia. We note with apprehension that the Abia State governor has further elevated the wrong use of the state media to carry out political vendetta and other callous political attacks of perceived strong opponents in the coming election against all ethical codes of professionalism and in breach of the legal provisions which prohibits publicly funded media houses from been hijacked and put to the services of only one candidate even when the media houses are funded by the tax payers. The Nigerian Broadcasting Commission must wake up from slumber and carry out oversight functions and sanction these defaulting media houses so as to restore a sense of decorum and decency.”
HURIWA has also called on the Chief of Defense Staff Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, the Inspector General of Police Mr Suleiman Abba and the Director General of Department of State Services [DSS]  Mr. Ita Ekpeyong to rein in their men and operatives in all the states of the federation and ensure that they remain objectively neutral and avoid being used by ruling parties in the various states of the federation or the national ruling party to execute politically motivated gestapo styled military attacks against perceived political opponents. “The national authorities of the Nigerian Security Agencies and Institutions must not allow their operatives and officers to be hijacked by moneybag politicians and the state governors who operate as emperors and dictators to witch-hunt perceived political opponents who are vigorously but legally campaigning to democratically dethrone them at the forthcoming elections”.


Monday, 2 February 2015

* killing of Nigerian drug suspects in Indonesia -HURIWA SLAMS Foreign Affairs ministry; * Criticizes planned deportation of Nigerians from Ghana:

A civil rights group – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has carpeted the Nigerian foreign Affairs ministry for doing very little to enlighten prospective Nigerian youthful travelers on the mortal consequences of engaging in hard drugs trafficking. The group also lambasted the foreign Affairs ministry in Nigeria for failing to ensure that consular legal assistance are provided for Nigerians allegedly in conflict with the law in foreign jurisdictions.

The Rights group has therefore proposed comprehensive overhaul of Nigeria’s foreign policy to ensure that the fundamental human rights of Nigerian citizens abroad which are universally guaranteed including right to legal representations for those allegedly in conflict with the laws of their host and usually hostile nations especially in Asia are promoted, protected and further enhanced.

HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA has also canvassed radical reforms of Nigeria’s foreign Affairs communication and publicity department to sufficiently equip it with skilled staff to embark on aggressive enlightenment campaigns within Nigeria and Nigerian embassies abroad to dissuade the Nigerian Youth from the current massive irregular migration to other nations for economic refuge.

HURIWA particularly criticized the proposed deportation by the government of Ghana of 49 Nigerians in Ghana considered to be illegal migrants. The Rights group said the planned deportation if carried out will in no small measure smear the reputation of the recently passed resolution by ECOWAS Heads of Government granting greater powers to the ECOWAS Parliament which has consistently passed binding resolutions for greater and better enhanced economic integration of the member nations of the sub-regional group-Economic community of West African States. 
Speaking specifically on the recent execution for alleged drug related crime in Indonesia of the Nigerian duo of Daniel Enemuo and Chibuike Okafor, HURIWA in a media statement jointly endorsed by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and National media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf stated that information filtering in from Indonesia and Malaysia is to the effect that many young Nigerians caught for alleged drug related offences were usually denied proper legal representations just as there are groundswells of allegations that the Nigerian Embassies are not actively involved in ensuring that the fundamental human rights of Nigerians are protected especially when they face prosecution in those foreign jurisdictions. 

HURIWA has therefore canvassed joint working partnership between the Nigeria’s ministry of external affairs and those of the Federal Attorney General and Minister of Justice of Nigeria to set up effective mechanisms and partnership for ensuring strong legal representations for all Nigerians facing prosecution in foreign jurisdictions.
Citing Article 10 of the universal Declaration of human rights that “Everyone is entitled in full to a fair and public hearing by an Independent and impartial tribunal in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him”, HURIWA stated that information available to it shows that the two Nigerians recently executed over drug offences were not granted this global right.  

HURIWA also asked the Nigerian government to demand clear explanation from the Indonesia foreign embassy in Nigeria and if the allegations of denial of full legal representations for those already executed Nigerians are established using other independent sources of information from Indonesia, then Nigeria should down grade our diplomatic relation with Indonesia.

The Rights group said the Indonesia government also violated Article eleven of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [UDHR] which provides thus; “Every one charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial of which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence”.

On the planned deportation of 49 Nigerians from Ghana, HURIWA has tasked the Speaker ECOWAS Parliament and Nigeria’s Deputy Senate President Dr. Ike Ekweremadu to intervene even as the group charged the Nigerian Foreign Affairs ministry to embark on effective media campaign to check the unfortunate increasing involvement of thousands of Nigerian youths in illegal migration. The Nigerian government and the 36 state governments must implement poverty eradication measures and create the enabling environment for the private sector to be more actively involved in creating both jobs and wealth to millions of impoverished Nigerian school leavers and graduates.

HURIWA stated thus; “We have just read from the Ghana based myjoyonline.come that 49 Nigerians classified as illegal immigrants would be deported soon as they were rounded up and paraded by the Ghana’s Immigration Department on Monday.
In the report quoted by HURIWA, stated that the director of Public Affairs at the Immigration Service, Francis Palmdeti, told yesterday, that the illegal immigrants "are in Aflao being prepared for removal".
“The immigrants entered the country through unapproved routes using the various countries between Nigeria and Ghana. Interestingly, they were travelling with almost all their belongings including mortars, pestles, utensils, beds, furniture and motorbikes among other things. The immigrants, who included six men, 18 women and 24 children, were initially arrested on Friday at Bandai in two Benz buses heading to Chinderi in Volta-North”.