The message here from the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention is for Nigeria to end its arbitrary arrest, punitive detention, and illegal trial of Kanu, which could lead to the Nigerian government being held accountable by reporting Nigeria to the Human Rights Council.
President Muhammadu Buhari do not be carried away or influenced by the usual editorial twisting by some Nigerian newspapers that a particular piece of information did not come directly from this or that, and for your information, the UN’s former Commission on Human Rights established the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention with Resolution 1991/42. The Working Group’s mandate was most recently extended by Human Rights Council resolution 42/22 of September 26, 2019, for another three-year period.
The United Nations Human Rights Council’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention is recognized by the United Nations Human Rights Council to investigate individual cases of arbitrary detention, and situations where country conditions have prompted more widespread occurrences of arbitrary detention, such as Nigeria.
I still remember in 2020, the overall head of the UN under which the UNHRC comes under, the United Nations Secretary-General, Antõnio Guterres continues to call on nations to act on human rights.
I still remember how in 2018, when President Trump removed America from the U.N. Human Rights Council, a man known for his weak likeness for human rights, but President Biden and his administration have since rejoined the Human Rights Council.
Nigeria is a Member State of the United Nations (UN) and has human rights obligations at both the regional and universal levels.
The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, is being tried on charges of treason by the Federal Government of Nigeria in a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.
President Buhari should know that the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Kanu, is now a matter of interest in United Nations circles.
President Buhari, the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, has called on the Nigerian government to, “immediately release Kanu unconditionally” and reimburse him with adequate compensation for the arbitrary violation of his fundamental human rights.
President Buhari, the UN Human Rights Council Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, has indicted both the Nigerian and Kenyan governments for the illegitimate apprehension, detention, extraordinary rendition, torture, and continued detention of Kanu without due process.
Professor Mike Ozekhome, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Kanu’s lead counsel, has repeatedly urged you, as President of Nigeria, to consider a political solution to the Nigeria stated treasonable felony case against Kanu. This plea is especially valid as you have psychologically and ethically stained this court case when, in an interview with Channels Television early this year, you stated that “If there is one institution I wouldn’t like to interfere with, it is the judiciary’’. Only in the same interview did you say, “But what I wonder is that when Kanu was in Europe abusing this administration and mentioning too many things, I never thought he really wanted to voluntarily come to defend himself.” “So, we are allowing him to defend himself in our system, not to abuse us from Europe as if he was not a Nigerian.” For those who are saying we should release him, no, we cannot release him. ” “But if you go to a foreign country and keep on sending incorrect economic and security problems against your country, thinking that you never have to account for what you have been doing, let him account for what he has been doing.”
Also in the interview, you said, “There is a possibility of a political solution.” If he behaves himself… “
In June 2021, in a briefing by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, he said the fugitive Nnamdi Kanu was back in Nigeria to face trial but did not state how he was secured to Nigeria legally. Malami did not give details of where Kanu was arrested or the diplomatic alliancethat may have been involved in the operation. But Ozekhome said Kanu’s abduction and rendition to Nigeria without extradition proceedings or hearing in Kenya is a clear violation of Article 12(4) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the UN Declaration of Human Rights.
President Buhari Kanu was taken in via secrecy. His Nigerian and American lawyers were not officially informed of his illegal abduction from Kenya.
Regarding Kanu, a British-Nigerian citizen, the United Kingdom media said, “The abduction of a person from a foreign country with the aim of rendition to justice is illegal under international law.”
Kanu later told his lawyers that was tortured, maltreated, and mercilessly beaten, after spending eightor so days in illegal custody in Nigeria before Nigerians held about his forced return to Nigeria.
Bruce Fein, the American counsel for Kanu, has filed a petition against Nigeria’s government to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Mr. President, you are being accused of targeting Kanu as an Ibo man in the light of Fein’s report that this was part of “a widespread and systematic attack by the Fulani-controlled Federal Government of Nigeria, against the Biafran civilian population in the southeast.”
Justice Binta Nyako the presiding judge once stated that the State Security Service (SSS), also known as the Department of State Services (DSS), where Kanu is detained, is not a five-star hotel where Kanu can enjoy all the amenities he desires, and she however, advised the SSS to treat Kanu as a human being with rights.
In fact, Kanu should not be under the State Security Services (SSS) custody but in a correctional center as a pre-trial detainee where the Nelson Mandela Rules in regard to protecting the rights of persons in detention and prohibiting indefinite or prolonged solitary confinement apply.
Kanu was allegedly abused in the Department of State Services detention, according to his lawyers, by not being allowed to practice his faith, take a bath, change his clothes, or eat properly. He was even denied access to his reading glasses, which the court ordered released to him.
Just last month, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) expressed discontent with the refusal of the presiding judge of the Federal High Court, Abuja division, Justice Nyako, to grant bail to Kanu.
The President recently said while attending a bilateral meeting with the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, that he Kanu should “justify all the uncomplimentary things said against Nigeria while he was in Britain.”
Buhari continues to interfere in a legal case like Kanu’s. The judge, Justice Nyako, according to normal democratic principles, should have informed the government and Buhari in particular, that interfering in a criminal prosecution in court before the public is a further abuse of Kanu’s right to a fair and uncontaminated trial, and should have protected his right to a fair trial.
As a result of the politicization of human rights and the dehumanization of Kanu’s legal rights, the case now has disastrous effects on the judiciary. As such, the entire case should be dismissed with prejudice by the judge, which means the case is settled and cannot be reopened in the future.
The Buhari administration must learn to be accountable to legal and ethical standards, and the Nigerian judicial system must learn to protect all citizens’ human rights.
As soon as possible, President Buhari and his administration need to comply with the UN Human Rights Council working group assertions regarding Kanu’s right to life and liberty, and freedom from torture, and to do otherwise could result in charges of serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian rights.
President Buhari, on a moral note, remember that human rights abuses, including political repression, ethnic persecution, extrajudicial killings, as well as prejudice, might be common in a military regime, but in the current Nigeria, which is generally a democracy, human rights and democratic governance are critical components, and that is what the UN Human Rights working group on the issue of human rights is demanding of Nigeria about Kanu.
President Buhari, even if the views of the Working Group are not direct views of the United Nations, and may not be legally binding on Nigeria, just do the right thing as their concerns will result in appropriately operating Nigeria’s criminal justice system.
President Buhari, as a man who wishes to return to cattle farming in the coming months, do not allow yourself to be caught in an international criminal court regarding Kanu’s torture, cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, and the likes of head of SSS Yusuf Bichi, AGF Malami, and Justice Nyako might equally be affected. Sir, the demand is to “immediately release” Kanu, “unconditionally” and pay him acceptable compensation for the arbitrary violation of his fundamental human rights. Just do it So Kanu can return to his adopted home in the United Kingdom. You have nothing to lose. Allah bless you.
John Egbeazien Oshodi, who was born in Uromi, Edo State in Nigeria to a father who served in the Nigeria police for 37 years, is an American based Police/Prison Scientist and Forensic/Clinical/Legal Psychologist. A government consultant on matters of forensic-clinical adult and child psychological services in the USA; Chief Educator and Clinician at the Transatlantic Enrichment and Refresher Institute, an Online Lifelong Center for Personal, Professional, and Career Development. He is a former Interim Associate Dean/Assistant Professor at Broward College, Florida. The Founder of the Dr. John Egbeazien Oshodi Foundation, Center for Psychological Health and Behavioral Change in African Settings In 2011, he introduced State-of-the-Art Forensic Psychology into Nigeria through N.U.C and Nasarawa State University, where he served in the Department of Psychology as an Associate Professor. He is currently a Virtual Behavioral Leadership Professor at ISCOM University, Republic of Benin. Founder of the proposed Transatlantic Egbeazien Open University (TEU) of Values and Ethics, a digital project of Truth, Ethics, and Openness. Over forty academic publications and creations, at least 200 public opinion pieces on African issues, and various books have been written by him. He specializes in psycho-prescriptive writings regarding African institutional and governance issues.
Prof. Oshodi wrote in via [email protected]
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