Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy Group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has reacted to the reported arrest and extradition of the Director of Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) Mazi Nnamdi Kanu charging the federal government to respect his Constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights including fair and unbiased trial as specified in section 36 (5) thus “Every person who is charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed to be innocent until he is proved guilty; Provided that nothing in this section shall invalidate any law by reason only that the law imposes upon any such person the burden of proving particular facts.”
HURIWA warned against propaganda by the Federal government but to allow the Court of law to exercise their constitutionally guaranteed judicial powers as affirmed in Section 6 of 1999 constitution thus: “ 6. (1) The judicial powers of the Federation shall be vested in the courts to which this section relates, being courts established for the Federation. (2) The judicial powers of a State shall be vested in the courts to which this section relates, being courts established, subject as provided by this Constitution, for a State. (3) The courts to which this section relates, established by this Constitution for the Federation and the States, specified in subsection (5) (a) to (1) of this section, shall be the only superior courts of record in Nigeria; and save as otherwise prescribed by the National Assembly or by the House of Assembly of a State, each court shall have all the powers of a superior court of record. (4) Nothing in the foregoing provisions of this section shall be construed as precluding:- (a) the National Assembly or any House of Assembly from establishing courts, other than those to which this section relates, with subordinate jurisdiction to that of a High Court; (b) the National Assembly or any House of Assembly, which does not require it, from abolishing any court which it has power to establish or which it has brought into being”.
HURIWA said further: “If the Nigerian government under Muhammadu Buhari can go as far as arresting the fugitive head of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) whose group has consistently denied embracing armed struggle to achieve self-determination, it is expected that President Muhammadu Buhari should focus also on arresting the real terrorists of ISWAP/Boko haram terrorists responsible for over 32000 deaths of innocent citizens and the destruction of North East of Nigeria”
“The Federal government should stop pampering armed Fulani terrorists and kidnappers who are waging war against innocent school children of Northern Nigeria.”
In a media statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA advocated constructive dialogues as the best Panacea to the growing agitations for self-government all across the country.
“The truth is that these agitations are well-grounded due to systemic and systematic injustices against certain ethnic groups and more particularly the agitations are due to resource, political and economic injustices which have heightened through the jaundiced and bigoted policies of President Muhammadu Buhari.”