The Lawyer representing the detained convener of #RevolutionNow protest, Mr Omoyele Sowore, and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, says his clients have met the bail conditions imposed on them with regards to the charges of treasonable felony preferred against them by the Federal Government.
Mr Femi Falana, who is their lawyer, says the defendants would be freed any moment from now.
He disclosed this while asking for an adjournment of the case on the grounds that the Department of State Service in whose custody the defendants have been detained and from where they were produced in court on Wednesday have continually denied them access to the defendants.
Mr Sowore whose trial has been adjourned to the 5th and 6th of December, 2019 is accused of treasonable felony
2. “It does appear to me that government doesn’t seem to know what to do when it comes to doing what is supposed to be done”
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Jibrin Okutepa, faults the planned introduction of Operation Positive Identification across the country.
3. “Nigerians voted PDP, APC knows they were rejected”
The National Chairman of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Prince Uche Secondus reacts to the Supreme Court’s verdict, he salutes Nigerians of all divide for their commitment and support to the party and to democracy.
4. “I fought a good fight for the Nigerian people”
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar says he will not relent for Nigeria and democracy regardless his defeat at the Supreme Court, in his case against President Muhammadu Buhari.
5. ” Supreme Court verdict is victory for democracy”
The Speaker of the House of the Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila describes the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari at the Supreme Court as a victory for democracy.
6. “I think Nigerians have voted, the Supreme Court has upheld the outcome, it’s time to support and close ranks and queue behind President Muhammdu Buhari.”
7. “It is time the country is afforded the right to move on”
President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the ruling of the Supreme Court, dismissing the appeal brought before them by Atiku Abubakar and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has afforded the country the ‘right to move on’.
8. “Nigeria has a lot to learn from Egypt in the fight against terrorism”
9. “Join us in calling the world to take action against Boko Haram”
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN says concerted action by countries around the world is crucial towards tackling terrorism in the Sahel region, as well as the challenges posed by Boko Haram and ISWAP in Africa.
Mr Femi Falana (SAN), has filed a suit against the Nigerian Army, it’s Chief of Army Staff and the Attorney-General of the Federation, praying for an order to stop the planned kick-off of Nigeria Army’s Operation Positive Identification.
The suit marked FHC/L/CS/1939/2019 was filed before the Federal High Court in Lagos on October 25.
The Senior Advocate had in a letter published on the 27th of October, stated that the decision of the authorities of the Nigerian Army to subject law abiding citizens to personal identification on the road constitutes a gross infringement of their constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights to freedom of movement and dignity.
He further stated that it is a sad reminder of the illegal practice of the white minority rulers which compelled Africans to carry pass books outside their homelands or designated areas under the apartheid regime in South Africa.
In his suit regarding the matter, Falana gave eight grounds for seeking reliefs.
A. By virtue of Section 215 (3) of the Constitution, 1999 as amended, the Nigeria police force has been conferred with the exclusive power to maintain law and order and secure public safety and public order in the country.
B. Section 217 (1) of the Constitution empowers the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to deploy the armed forces for the suppression of insurrection and acting in aid of civil authorities to restore law and order, but the power cannot be exercised until there is an insurrection or civil disturbance which cannot be contained by the Nigeria police.
C. There is no insurrection in every part of the country which the Nigeria police cannot contain to warrant the deployment of armed troops all over the country from 1st November, 2019 to December 23rd, 2019.
D. Neither the Constitution nor the Armed Forces Act Cap A20 LFN, 2004 has empowered the Nigeria Army to arrest any citizen who is not subject to service law.
E. The 1st Respondent under the leadership of the 2nd Respondent is not empowered to take over police duties and the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces lacks the power to deploy members of the armed forces in the maintenance of internal security in any part of the country by virtue of Section 217 (a) (b) and (c) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
F. The planned nationwide operation by the 1st Respondent scheduled for November 1, 2019 to December 23rd 2019 tagged Operation Positive Identification (OPI) by which the Applicant and other Nigerian citizens would be required to move about with legitimate means of Identification such as National Identification Card, voters Registration Card, Drivers’ License and International passports is unconstitutional, illegal, null and void as it violates the rights of the Applicant and other Nigerian citizens to freedom of movement as encapsulated in Section 41 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as Amended and Article 12 respectively of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, (Cap A10) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
G. The planned nationwide operation by the 1st Respondent scheduled for November 1, 2019 to December 23rd 2019 tagged Operation Positive Identification (OPI) by which the Applicant and other Nigerian citizens would be required to move about with legitimate means of Identification such as National Identification Card, voters Registration Card, Drivers’ License and International passports is unconstitutional, illegal, null and void as it violates the rights of the Applicant and other Nigerian citizens to liberty respectively as encapsulated in Section 35 respectively of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as Amended and Article 6 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, (Cap A10) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
H. Unless the Respondents are restrained by an order of interim injunction pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit, irreparable damage may occur.
Below is the suit filed by Falana, as obtained by Channels Television.
The Nigerian Army has announced that Operation Positive Identification, OPI, which is on-going in the North East theatre of Boko Haram insurrection, would be extended to cover the entire nation.
Consequently, the Chief of Staff of the Nigerian Army, Lt-General Yusuf Buratai has directed the Nigerian people to move about with “legitimate means of identification such as National Identification Card, Voters Registration Card, Drivers’ License and International Passport or other valid official identification” during the duration of the so called Operation Positive Identification scheduled to hold throughout the country from November 1-December 23, 2019.
The Operation Positive Identification is being conducted by the Nigerian Army to combat armed robbery, kidnapping and allied criminal activities in all the 36 States of the Federation.
However, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Femi Falana thinks that the decision of the authorities of the Nigerian Army to subject law abiding citizens to personal identification on the road constitutes a gross infringement of their constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights to freedom of movement and dignity.
“It is a sad reminder of the illegal practice of the white minority rulers which compelled Africans to carry pass books outside their homelands or designated areas under the apartheid regime in South Africa.
As Nigerians are not under apartheid regime they should not be forced to carry pass books which have been outlawed in the democratic republic of South africa. In the recent past, “Operation Python”, “Operation Scorpion” and similar operations conducted by the Nigerian Army in civilian areas had led to the reckless arrests, detention and extrajudicial killing of innocent citizens. In fact, some of the armed soldiers involved in anti robbery operations have been indicted in the brutal killing of police officers on duty. They have also and raped women including undergraduates. Since majority of Nigerians do not have any of the aforesaid pass books they are going to be subjected to unwarranted intimidation and physical attacks by armed soldiers under the pretext of looking for criminal elements,” Falana says.
He adds that since Nigerians are not a conquered people the degrading Operation Positive Identification should be stopped by the military authorities.
According to him, it is pertinent to point out that the operation is illegal on the following grounds:
1. By virtue of sections 215 and 217 of the Constitution of Nigeria the Nigeria Police Force is saddled with the responsibility to maintain law and order in the country while the armed forces are required to defend Nigeria from external aggression and maintain its territorial integrity.
2. However, the armed forces may be involved in the suppression of insurrection and acting in aid of civil authorities to restore order when called upon to do so by the President. In the instant case, there no insurrection has been recorded in many parts of the country to warrant the planned usurpation of police powers by the Nigerian Army. Neither has President Buhari deployed armed soldiers to combat armed robbery, abduction and banditry.
3. In several cases Nigerian courts have held that the armed forces have no right to usurp the powers of the Police to maintain internal security in the country. In particular, the armed forces have been restrained from maintaining law and order during elections in the following cases:
a. In Buhari v Obasanjo (2005) 1 WRN 1 at 200, Abdullahi PCA (as he then was) had admonished “in spite of the non-tolerant nature and behavior of our political class in this country, we should by all means try to keep armed personnel of whatever status or nature from being part and parcel of our election process. The civilian authorities should be left to conduct and carry out fully the electoral processes at all levels”.
b. In Yusuf v. Obasanjo (2005) 18 NWLR (Pt. 956) 966 @ 174 – 175, Salami JCA (as he then was) said:
“It is up to the police to protect our nascent democracy and not the military, otherwise the democracy might be wittingly or unwittingly militarized. This is not what the citizenry bargained for, after wrestling power from the military in 1999, conscious steps should be taken to civilianize the polity and ensure survival and sustenance of democracy.”
c. In All Progressive Congress v Peoples Party & Ors (2015) LPELR- 24349, the Court of Appeal had lucidly stated the position thus:
“The law does not appear to make any provisions or provide a role for the Armed Force or the military to dabble in civil activities like elections to elect civilian leaders except perhaps to exercise their right of franchise to vote in their Barracks.”
In view of the foregoing, Falana says he is compelled to call on the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari to restrain General Buratai from forcing the Nigerian people to carry passes to exercise their fundamental right to freedom of movement.
“Instead of competing with the Police in maintaining law and order in the country the Nigerian Army should concentrate efforts in prosecuting the was on terror. However, if General Buratai is not called to order we shall not hesitate to approach the Federal High Court with a view to obtaining an order to mandate him to comply with section 4 of the Police Act which provides that “The police shall be employed for the prevention and detection of crime, the apprehension of offenders, the preservation of law and order, the protection of life and property and the due enforcement of all laws and regulations with which they are directly charged, and shall perform such military duties within or without Nigeria as may be required of them by or under the authority of this or any other Act””.
Human Rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Femi Falana, has asked the Federal Government to open the borders, thereby asking them to urgently dialogue with neighbouring countries to fight the menace of smuggling which necessitated the country’s border to be closed.
Falana said the Federal Government should ignore the endorsement of border closure by the International Monetary Fund because “it is inconsistent with the letter and spirit of ECOWAS Protocol on Free Movement of Persons, Residence and Establishment and the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. The endorsement of the IMF is a deliberate design to weaken ECOWAS regional integration agenda.”
Falana gave the advice while delivering a paper on Rule of Law, Good Governance and Economic Development at the annual conference of the ECOWAS Court of Justice in Accra, Ghana.
Falana’s paper read in part: “The borders should be reopened without any further delay as it cannot be sustained for too long without serious repercussions for the Nigerian economy. The neighbouring countries may retaliate by imposing a ban on goods being exported from Nigeria by air. They may also close down Nigerian banks and other businesses operating in other member states of the ECOWAS.”
“Instead of resorting to the unilateral closure of borders the federal government should drag the Republics of Benin and Niger to the Court of Justice of the ECOWAS for breaching the ECOWAS Protocol by allegedly encouraging the smuggling of petrol, rice and other products. In the alternative, smuggling should be addressed like terrorism which is being jointly combated by Nigeria and her neighbours.”
“Nigeria should stop punishing law-abiding corporate bodies and community citizens because of the criminal activities of a few trans-border smugglers. The Federal Government should expose the smugglers by arresting and prosecuting them. The smugglers in Nigeria and the neighbouring countries are well known by the security agencies. Without official connivance, the crime of smuggling cannot thrive in the region.”
“Apart from monitoring the borders with technology, the Federal Government should take advantage of the ECOWAS Protocol Relating to the Re-exportation within ECOWAS of goods imported from third countries. Under the Protocol Benin, Togo and Ghana are only entitled to charge administrative fees in respect of goods whose destination is Nigeria.”
“I commend the ECOWAS Court for protecting the human rights of community citizens. But member states should desist from disregarding the judgments and orders of the Court. Other leaders should emulate President Nana Akuffo-Addo who has ordered the Attorney- General and Minister of Ghana to ensure compliance with all decisions of the Court. The ECOWAS Commission should ensure that sanctions are imposed on recalcitrant member states in line with the ECOWAS Revised Treaty and the Protocol of the Community Court.”
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr Femi Falana, has asked the National Assembly to collaborate with anti-graft agencies for the recovery of oil sale funds lost from the federation’s account.
According to a letter sent to Senate President Ahmad Lawan, Mr Falana claimed that about “$103.7 billion” generated from oil sale have been withheld or diverted from the nation’s coffers.
Mr Falana in his letter argued that if the nation can recover the money lost to oil sale, there would be no need to seek foreign loans.
Falana’s letter comes on heels of an announcement by the Finance Minister, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, stating that Nigeria has secured a $3 billion loan from the World Bank in April.
This fund according to Mrs Ahmed, would be used for reforming the nation’s power sector.
However, Mr Falana is of the opinion that the nation would not need to get into debt if the National Assembly can work with the anti-graft agencies to locate and recover the funds he alleges are missing from the country’s purse.
But Falana said Nigeria lost a larger part of the proceeds from oil as a result of the non-implementation of the deep offshore and inland basin production contracts act.
In his letter dated October 18, the Senior Advocate said he drew the attention of the Federal Government to the loss of billions of dollars arising from the non implementation of the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Contracts Act.
Falana further stated that based on the provisions of the law the Federal Government and the International Oil Companies entered into Production Sharing Contracts which provided for an upward review of the loyalties whenever crude oil was sold beyond $20 per barrel in the international market.
He stressed that even though the price of crude was beyond $100 per barrel in the recent past both parties ignored the provisions of the law to the detriment of the national economy.
The human rights activist alleged that in the course of his work on leakages in the national economy, he and his team have also discovered that sometime in 2006, the management of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) illegally withdrew $7 billion from the nation’s foreign reserves and fixed same in 14 commercial banks.
He said Godwin Emefiele, the CBN Governor, had also ignored their demand for the recovery of the $7 billion and the accrued interests from the 14 commercial banks.
Mr Falana further stated that apart from the expected revenue of $1.5 billion from the implementation of the amended deep offshore and inland basin production contracts act, the outstanding royalties, fixed deposit and other funds withheld or diverted from the federation account are not less than $103.7 billion.
Below is the Senior Advocate’s letter to the Senate President in which he urges the National Assembly to look into recovering the funds which he argues will keep the country from having to borrow.
Request to ensure the recovery of $105 billion by the Federal Government
In November 2015, we drew the attention of the Federal Government to the loss of billions of dollars arising from the non implementation of the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Contracts Act. Based on the provisions of the law the Federal Government and the International Oil Companies entered into Production Sharing Contracts which provided for an upward review of the loyalties whenever crude oil was sold beyond $20 per barrel in the international market. Even though the price of crude was beyond $100 per barrel in the recent past both parties ignored the provisions of the law to the detriment of the national economy.
We were equally compelled to call on the national assembly to amend the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Contracts Act in favour of the Nigerian people. Although the call was ignored but we kept up the pressure on the executive and legislative branches of the federal government to do the needful.
However, we are delighted to know that the national assembly has belatedly resolved to amend the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Contracts Act. In fact, the Senate has passed the Amendment Bill. Upon the passage of the the said bill last week you had this to say:
“The Bill must be passed and concurred to by the House of Representatives and of course, assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari who is on the same page with us.
As a patriotic Senate, there is no way, we would have yielded to pressures and deny our dear country $1.5 billion that will be accruing into her account on yearly basis based on contractual sharing agreements put in place by the new provisions which become law when finally assented to by the President.”
Mr. Senate President, we fully agree with you that the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts (Amendment) Bill ought to be speedily passed by the House of Representatives and assented to by the President since the law will fetch the country the sum of $1.5 billion per annum. While we commend the Senate for the initiative in passing the Bill we urge the national assembly to ensure the recovery of the funds listed below:
1. In his reaction to our allegation of economic sabotage by the public officers who deliberately refused to implement the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts Act the immediate past Minister of State in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachukwu admitted that the non implementation of the law by some unnamed public officers had led to a loss of oil revenue of over $60 billion. But due to the reluctance of the federal government to enforce the law the governments of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and Rivers States instituted an action at the Supreme Court in 2016 to compel the Federal government to recover the accrued royalties.
In the judgment delivered in the case on October 18, 2018 the Supreme Court directed the Federal government to recover the royalties that had not been collected from the International Oil Companies for the past 18 years. Based on the judgment of the apex court the Federal government has demanded for the immediate payment of the sum of the sum of $62 billion by the defaulting oil companies. But the affected oil companies have filed fresh suits in the federal high court challenging the claim of the federal government. It is hoped that the federal high court will speed up the hearing of the new cases in view of the categorical pronouncement of the Supreme Court on the right of the federal government to recover the outstanding royalties.
2. The National Extractive Industry and Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has disclosed that sum of $22 billion and N481 billion has been withheld from the Federation Account by the NNPC and some oil companies. Without any justification whatsoever the federal government has ignored the findings of the NEITI. Convinced that the Federal Government has violated the provisions of the NEITI Act we have instituted an action at the federal high court seeking for the implementation of the findings of the NEITI.
3. A group of Nigerian lawyers engaged by the NIMASA found that the crude oil stolen from Nigeria by well known oil and shipping companies between 2011 and 2014 and discharged at the Philadelphia Port in the United States was 60.2 barrels. The said stolen oil has been valued at $12.7 billion. Curiously, all efforts to persuade the federal government to recover the fund have fallen on deaf ears. Out of sheer frustration the lawyers who indicted the oil and shipping companies have instituted civil suits in the federal high court for the recovery of the said sum of $12.7 billion.
4. In the course of our work on leakages in the national economy, we discovered that sometime in 2006 the management of the Central Bank of Nigeria illegally withdrew the sum of $7 billion from the nation’s foreign reserves and fixed same in 14 commercial banks. For reasons best known to him, the Governor of the Central Bank, Mr. Godwin Emefile has ignored our persistent demand for the recovery of the principal sum of $7 billion and the accrued interests from the 14 commercial banks.
In the light of the foregoing, it is clear that apart from the expected revenue of $1.5 billion from the implementation of the amended Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Contracts Act the outstanding royalties, fixed deposit and other funds withheld or diverted from the Federation Account are not less than $103.7 billion.
If the National Assembly, under your able leadership, is prepared to resist pressures from vested interests and muster the political will to recover the said fund Nigeria will have no business begging for foreign loans from China, African Development Bank and the World Bank. Therefore, the National Assembly may wish to collaborate with the anti graft agencies in the recovery of the said sum of $103.7 billion without any delay.
Please accept the assurances of our highest esteem.
Indeed there was no attempt to carry out any autopsy on the corpse until we also demanded one from the police before the burial.
Yoruba sociology-cultural organisation, Afenifere expresses displeasure over the manner in which the Nigeria Police Force is handling investigations into the murder of Mrs Olufunke Olakunnrin, daughter its leader, Chief Reuben Fasoranti.
We will stick to time, we will deliver this project by 2022. We will commence actual rehabilitation work in January.
Sweetheart @symply_tacha come home ❤️ U will use this N50,000,000 million naira to EXPAND ur @everythingtacha brand ❤️.
Serial Entrepreneur and Businesswoman, Jaruma has announces a cash prize of 50 million naira to the Port Harcourt based Big Brother housemate, Tacha who was recently disqualified from the reality show.
Today, the education sector suffers a lot. The 11 million or 12 million children out of school, we owe them that responsibility to do something about them. And that is taking us back to the implementation of the basic education Act.
Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, has that it is an insult for the Department of State Services to say that it did not receive copies of a Federal High Court order directing it to immediately release pro-democracy campaigner and Publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore.
Responding to a statement credited to the spokesperson for the DSS, Dr Peter Afunnaya, Falana told Channels Television that the DSS’s position suggests that it it is not ceased of the facts in the courts order.
Speaking in a Telephone conversation, he said the court had asked his client to deposit his passports with the court which has been done and that for the past three days he has been at the DSS office for hours to effect the release of his client which the court ordered should be released to him.
The human rights activist wondered what other conditions the DSS is demanding to be met.
Counsel to the convener of the #RevolutionNow protest, (Omoyele Sowore), Mr Femi Falana (SAN), says despite fulfilling the bail conditions of his client since morning, the Department of State Services (DSS) is yet to release him.
In a telephone conversation with Channels Television, Mr Falana explained that no reason has been given by the agency for its failure to comply with the court order delivered on Tuesday, September 24, 2019.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo had ordered the release of Mr Sowore who is also the publisher of Sahara Reporters.
He was arrested on the eve of his planned protest across Nigeria and detained for 45 days in the DSS custody over allegations of treasonable felony and money laundering.
A day before the 45-day detention was to elapse, the Federal Government filed additional Charges against him.
At the hearing on Tuesday, the Federal Government prosecutor, Godwin Agbadua, stated that Sowore had committed a capital offence and should still be detained in the “interest of justice and national security”.
But Mr Falana argued that his client was charged with insulting the President, money laundering and conspiracy to commit treason, all of which he said are not capital offences.
While other charges were maintained, Agbadua, however, withdrew the application to further detain Sowore and the court struck out the application.
Consequently, Falana asked the court to order the immediate release of his client.
According to him, there was no longer any competent court order for his further remand.
After hearing arguments from both the prosecuting and defence counsels, the Judge ordered Sowore’s release on the ground that there was no order still in court.
He, however, ordered Sowore to deposit all his travel documents with the court in the next 48 hours and also asked his lawyer (Mr Falana) to present him whenever the court needs him.
He stressed that in spite of the fundamental rights of the Nigerian people to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression, the police had wanted to ‘disrupt and stop’ the peaceful meeting of law-abiding citizens to discuss the illegal detention of Omoyele Sowore, Agba Jalingo, Abayomi Olawale and scores of others being incarcerated in various detention facilities in the country.
Stating his case further, Falana said that contrary to the order of the Federal High Court that Sowore should be detained for 45 days, the Department of State Services has incarcerated him for 47 days.
“Last week, the Federal High Court turned down the application for the renewal of its order for the detention of Agba Jalingo and Ekanem Ekpo for 14 days.
“In spite of the expiration of the detention order of the two journalists, they are being held by the police in Cross River State.
“Mr Abayomi Olawale, who was arrested on August 5, 2019, has been detained for 45 days by the DSS without any court order whatsoever.
“These detainees and scores of others languishing in illegal custody ought to be released forthwith,” Falana demanded.
While congratulating the organizers of the symposium for successfully holding the programme at another venue, Falana said that the harassment of law-abiding citizens cannot be tolerated under a regime which he claims is busy negotiating with bandits and terrorists, “bribing them with public funds and granting them amnesty”.
Mr Femi falana has asked the Federal Government to sue the South Africa government and demand compensation for Nigerian victims of the xenophobic attack in the country.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria also asked President Muhammadu Buhari to boycott the ongoing world economic forum holding in Capetown insisting that the African National Congress must accept responsibility for the misdirected antagonism against poor African immigrants.
Mr Falana said “Apart from the official condemnation of the shameful and cowardly attacks the south African government should fish out the culprits and prosecute them.
“In addition to the payment of adequate compensation to all the victims of the mindless attacks the government must teach South Africans about the immense contributions of the people of Cuba and a number of African countries to the struggle waged against apartheid and colonialism in the southern African region”.
Mr Falana also asked the Federal Government to direct the Nigerian High Commission in Pretoria to coordinate the legal process.
“Beyond the condemnation of xenophobic attacks by the federal government
Like its counterpart in Nigeria the political class in South Africa has failed to address the challenge of poverty and inequality confronting the majority of the black people. Even though apartheid was defeated by the people of South Africa over two decades ago the unjust socioeconomic system erected by capitalism has not been dismantled. The crisis has been compounded by wanton corruption and the neo liberal policies of the government. Hence, the South African masses have been denied the dividends of democracy by the African National Congress-led government. In particular, the masses have no access to health, housing, education and employment. Out of sheer frustration, millions of young people in South Africa have decided to subject African immigrants to xenophobic attacks.
The ANC must accept responsibility for the misdirected antagonism against poor African imigrants. Apart from the official condemnation of the shameful and cowardly attacks the South African Government should fish out the culprits and prosecute them. In addition to the payment of adequate compensation to all the victims of the mindless attacks the Government must teach South Africans about the immense contributions of the people of Cuba and a number of African countries to the struggle waged against apartheid and colonialism in the Southern African region.
However, since the Cyril Ramaphosa administration is not likely to accede to the demand for compensation the federal government should brief a team of lawyers to seek legal redress for the victims of the attacks in South African courts. The Nigerian High Commission in Pretoria should be directed to coordinate the legal defence. In view of the regular harrassment of Nigerians in South Africa and a few other African countries the federal government should make the Declaration to enable individual victims of human rights abuse to access the African Court on Human and Peoples Rights sitting in Arusha, Tanzania. Since there is no assurance that Nigerians and other Africans will no longer be subjected to xenophobic attacks the federal government should boycott the World Economic Forum scheduled to commence in South Africa on September 4.”
Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has said that Nigeria is not fighting impunity to its uttermost and as such lawlessness has been left to thrive.
Speaking after the launch of ‘Why Not’, a book by Professor Pat Utomi on Tuesday, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria said that the nation is still operating on primitive ideas and must walk away from this culture if things are to be set right again.
Falana stated that that a good fight against electoral malpractice before and after elections is key to stabilizing the nation.
The rights advocate said, “We are primitive and we must get away from that culture and that is why the electoral body will have to organize credible elections but you can only do that if you fight impunity that take place before or during the elections but we are not doing that right now.
“All those that rigged the elections are walking free they will also rig elections next time and that is why we must join the campaign for the institution of an electoral offences tribunal to deal with those who manipulate the elections and those who promote thuggery during elections”.
He stressed that it is the duty of the government to secure the life and property of everybody.
” I believe that the Governors and the president will have to sit down and ensure that there is security in the country, adequate security for our people.”