Femi Falana, human rights lawyer, says Nigerians are anguishing in detention facilities across the country while President Muhammadu Buhari is marking 100 days in office.
In a statement on Tuesday, Falana said although the president has made a commitment to abide by the rule of law, security operatives carry out indiscriminate arrests and detention of people.
The senior advocate listed prominent cases of people who are under “illegal detention” as including four Ukraine nationals and Omoyele Sowore, convener of the #RevolutionNow movement, who is in custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).
“In spite of the official declaration of the Buhari administration to respect the human rights of Nigerian people, the country has continued to witness the indiscriminate arrest and illegal detention of poor citizens by the police and other security agencies,” he said.
“While conducting raids in Abuja and other cities in the country, thousands of women and unemployed young people are arrested by the police for wandering even though the vagrancy law was abolished in Nigeria in 1989.
“Last week, the Buhari administration marked the first 100 days in office while scores of citizens were languishing in police and military detention facilities across the country.
“Agba Jalingo, a journalist, was arrested in Calabar, Cross River State last month. The Nigeria Police Force has filed a terrorism charge against him at the Federal High Court for criticising Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State in a newspaper article.
“The Nigerian Navy has continued to detain over 150 citizens for several months without trial for undisclosed criminal offences. While some of the detainees have recently been released not less than 67 others are still held incommunicado in Lagos.
“The federal government should comply with all court orders and direct the police and other security agencies to grant bail to criminal suspects or arraign them in courts if there is reasonable suspicion that they have committed any criminal offence.”
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