By Lanre Adesanya
Prominent legal luminary and human right activist, Barr. Ebun Adegboruwa has lampooned the federal government for its lackadaisical attitude on the protection of the inalienable rights of Nigerian citizens, as many illegally wrath in jail without proper trail.
Adegboruwa made this call at the 2016 commemoration of the annual World Human Rights Day organised by the Committee For the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) in Lagos.
Delivering a paper on the theme: “Over Four Decades of Human Rights in Nigeria,the Pains and Gains”, he lamented slow pace of trial and extra judicial killings.
The human right lawyer further decried the illegal detention of hapless Nigerians, urging human rights groups to rise up against the development.
He urged government at all levels to regard the rule of law,and protect the rights of ordinary citizens.
“Nobody should be made to serve jail terms without proper trail,I am calling on all concerned government agencies, especially the Attorney General of the federation to ensure no offender in a bailable offense stays more than 24hours.
“The Nigerian government and the National Human Rights Commission’s silence in a world acclaim rights day, without any celebration, shows they don’t subscribe to the protection of people’s rights, the government’s body language is not positive”
He also raised a serious national concern under a Democratic rule, stating that the civilian law enforcement has been eroded, instead of the police now we have military barracks everywhere, this portends dictatorship.
Adegboruwa also counseled the rights groups to be alive to their responsibility.
“We as human rights organisations must have the courage to speak to the wickedness of the wicked.Let’s rise up and speak for the people and in defence of their rights.
If you visit Ikoyi and Kirikiri prisons, you will weep for human beings, innocent persons who have been roped into crisis have ended up in custody suffering.
“Too many innocent people are languishing in custody,Okada riders,drivers and others are being hauled into prison for petty reasons and stay long without trials.
“The culture of silence of activists in the name of politics is criminal,we must rise above politics and look at areas where people’s rights are being eroded, go to the hinterlands and see how people are suffering”.
He called on CHDR and other human rights organisations to stop hobnobbing with politicians, but rather institute a committee that would visit prisons and other police detention camps,to address the illegalities.
He assured right groups, of legal support in their move for the defence of constitutional rights of Nigerians.
Dr Osagie Obayuwana the former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice Edo state, also a seasoned activist said Nigeria needed to ensure the protection of rights of her ordinary citizens.
Obayuwana, charged the federal government to unbundle the Department of Public Prosecution for effective prosecution of cases.
Earlier, Mr Alex Omotehinse, Chairman, CDHR in Lagos, who called on all Nigerians to stand up to defend their rights, urged government and its agencies to respect the rights of ordinary Nigerians.
Eid-l-Maolud: Lagos Speaker Preaches Love, Peace, Understanding
The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa, has called for increased love and more understanding among Nigerians irrespective of their religious affiliations for a peaceful co-existence and growth of the country.
This was contained in a statement released on Sunday, December 11, 2016 to celebrate the birth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) popularly called Eid-l-Maolud. The statement was signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Musbau Razak.
Rt. Hon. Obasa stated that the country will continue to develop and grow if the citizens display love and understanding not only among themselves but also to the government.
“The Prophet was a man of peace and he shared the message of love and peace through the religion of Islam throughout his life time. He showed understanding for the various faiths and beliefs in Madinah during his lifetime and he never discriminated against any religion, groups or persons during his life,” the Lagos Assembly Speaker said.
According to him, “we should emulate and imbibe these qualities from the Holy Prophet so that our country will continue to grow”.
Rt. Hon. Obasa urged Nigerians to show understanding with the government at all levels noting that government is desirous of making life better for the citizens no matter the current challenges it is facing.
“It is a challenging period for us in Nigeria but this government is equal to the task and desirous of improving the lives of our people. We just need their love, support, prayers and understanding,” he said.
He urged Nigerians to therefore shun violence, and desist from any act that can lead to breakdown of law and order.
“The only way you can do this is by sharing love and understanding among yourselves which is the major ingredient for a peaceful co-existence, the main message of Prophet Muhammad and Islam,” he said.