Posted by News Express | 9 March 2019 | 590 times
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has asked the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, to ensure that military operatives are not misused by Federal Government office holders from Rivers and other states to manipulate the March 9, 2019 Governorship and State Assembly elections.
HURIWA said on Friday that her members on ground in Rivers State have reported that Federal appointees are apparently parading about with massive numbers of armed security forces thus threatening the peace of the State and unduly harassing civilians.
The rights group also said it has decided to approach Buratai and the international community through their representatives in Nigeria “to investigate allegations that houses of 50 top members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State have been destroyed and many of these political opposition leaders arrested by soldiers.”
HURIWA asked the Chief of Army Staff “to order the release of all the political opposition members so arrested if any and to deal with those who destroyed the housing assets of PDP leaders in Rivers State.”
HURIWA in a statement by the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, cautioned law enforcement agencies to stop parading suspects or subjecting them to media persecution just as the rights group faulted the recent parade of some politicians in Rivers State by the military over their alleged involvement in election related bribery scam.
HURIWA said the legal principle in Nigeria is such that presumes that all suspected offenders are innocent until proven guilty. “Only the courts of competent jurisdiction in tune with section 6 of the Nigerian constitution can reach a determination in all cases and accusations just as it stated that media trials are antithetical to modernism, legalism and Rule of Law but amounts to lynch mob justice,” the group said.
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