Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has faulted what it said was a “provocative and unwarranted” media persecution of the vocal critic of government and the erstwhile Senator who represented Kaduna Central Senatorial District in the 8th session of the National Assembly, Comrade Shehu Sani, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The rights group, in a statement, called on the anti-graft commission to adhere strictly to the constitutional principle of rule of law by calling off the “persistent, one sided charade of media persecution of Shehu Sani using the so-called investigations over allegations of impersonation or fraud”.
The statement signed by Mr Emmanuel Onwubiko, said Sani’s ordeal was an attempt to silence him for life in order to give his traducers space to continue in the dramatic undermining of constitutional democracy.
HURIWA said: “we in the organised human rights community have chosen to first of all restrain ourselves from jumping into the media fray to defend the detained civil rights advocacy leader Comrade Shehu Sani”.
It said the anti-graft agency “would have by now adopted the global best practices and put a total stop to all media orchestrations and stampeding with the aim of first of all achieving through the illegal backdoor channel the total demonisation of a citizen in its custody before even heading to court to obtain an exparte to further detain the citizen, deprive him of his civil liberties and freedoms and to further instigate rounds of one sided media warfare against the Nigerian citizen even when section 36(5) of the Nigerian Constitution in a very unambiguous fashion provided that all accused persons are innocent in the eyes of the law”.
HURIWA urged the commission to adhere to the rule of law.
“Nigerians must not keep silent and allow citizens to be unduly profiled as criminals based on some tissues of uninvestigated allegations from someone who by his own admission said he has a score to settle with the EFCC or that he has cases that the EFCC may be handling or both”.