Release 2 Brothers Unjustly Incarcerated, Groups Tell NPF

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The International Federation of Human Rights (IFHR) in collaboration with Freelance Journalist Federation (FIJ) and Save Nigeria Movement (SNM) has called on the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) to uphold the rule of law and immediately release the duo of Mustapha Buhari Aliyu and Aliyu Buhari Aliyu.

The duo, who are brothers and well known for their cattle rearing business in the community were unjustly abducted from their home in Kagarko, a community in Kaduna State on allegations of involvement in Kidnaping and ransom taking the 21st of March 2023 by IRT operatives purportedly working in connivance with one Muhammad Sani alias ‘Abacha’, a notorious bandit and gun runner who had carried through with his threat to the father of the abducted brothers following a feud.

In a press release signed by the trio of Comrade Joshua Attah, Rev. Oduma Abel and Rev. Solomon Semaka, National Coordinator and Conveners of IHRF, FJF and SNM respectively, and made available to journalists in Abuja after a widely attended press conference at Top Rank Hotel, Utako Abuja on the 2nd of April 2024, the coalition tackled the NPF for deliberately disregarding the rule of law and violating human rights through illegal abduction and detention.

According to the release, “as Civil Rights Organisations (CSOs), we are concerned with the utter disregard for the rule of law by the Nigerian Police Force and the gross violation of the human rights of two innocent Nigerians despite concerted interventions and appeals. Ours is therefore, a clarion call on the NPF to respect human rights of civilians and immediately release the duo of Mustapha Buhari Aliyu and Aliyu Buhari Aliyu who are currently being unjustly incarcerated
by officers and men of Intelligence Response Team (IRT).

“The IRT has been variously engrossed in gross violations of human rights with persistent and unabating complaints from a cross section of Nigerians. The Kagarko incidence is most disturbing because it seemed to have been a vendetta orchestrated by well known bandit in the area who actually accompanied IRT operatives on the mission. This illegality and rascality has generated global attention and if left unaddressed might lead to a break down of law and order”.

The Coalition questioned the motive of the NPF in the case and wondered why despite repeated complaints and interventions from different quarters including lawyers to the accused brothers, Y.C Maikyau & Co, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Kagarko Emirate Council as well as Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA), exonerating the innocent brothers of any wrong doing, the NPF has refused to release the brothers in line with standard procedures and conventions on human rights.

“As Pro- democracy CSOs dedicated to minimising incidents of human rights abuse of civilians by security agents, the high-handedness of the NPF pushed us to undertake a fact finding mission to ascertain the motive behind the unprofessional conduct and gang up against the innocent victims by IRT. We found through the irrefutable accounts of eye witnesses that the gestapo styled abductions was simply a glaring conspiracy by Muhammad Sani and the IRT operatives who operated without an arrest warrant and had no regard for the rule of law.

“Also, by all global standards, no individual shall be arrested without a warrant and detained beyond (24) hours without being charged without a valid court order. The NPF in gross violations of both local and international laws have chosen to conspire with a known bandit just to teach the innocent victims and their father a lesson. Keeping the accused for close to two weeks without officially charging then is unacceptable in our current democratic culture.

“It is even more worrisome as reports have emerged that the said Sani Muhammad alias Abacha who is behind the continued incarceration of two innocent citizens and a known criminal has been recruited into the NPF as per HURIWA in a release on March 30 , 2024. This development casts a very long shadow of doubt on the ability of the NPF to fight crime and uphold human rights if it’s frolicking with criminals”, the statement added.

While condemning in strong terms the actions of the IRT, the Coalition called on relevant authorities including President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to call the Nigerian Police to order as there can be no room for any abuse of human rights in an adminstration that’s fully subscribed to the rule of law.

“We condemn in strong terms the illegal and continued detention of innocent citizens without charging them to court as required by law and urge the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to instill professionalism in the rank and file. It is our earnest hope too that the National Human Rights Commission will investigate the circumstances surrounding the illegal arrest, abduction and detention of Mustpha Buhari Aliyu and Aliyu Buhari Aliyu by IRT

“We equally call on the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Human Rights and Public Petitions to intervene and carry out their oversight functions for the good of law abiding citizens. The United Nations Commission on Human Rights should also intervene in the multiple cases of human rights abuses perpetrated by the Nigeria Police Force and facilitate the release of victims currently held under dehumanizing conditions without probable cause by the police.

“Similarly, the Minister of Police Affairs should also intervene and petition the Nigerian Police Service Commission to call the authorities to order so as to keep track with the vision and philosophy of Mr President which is clearly in favor of the rule of law”, the statement added..

The release ended by charging the media to sustain their work by constantly serving as the conscience of the masses and called on the NPF to act quickly in releasing the victims of the Kagarko charade or face sustained protests from all CSOs and other wel meaning Nigerians.

“It is our hope that the media will continue to act as the conscience and mirror of the nation and continuously prevail on the NPF to release the innocent victims in order to restore citizen confidence in the Force. However, failure of the Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT) to heed our advice to take the path of rule of law by releasing the innocent victims under custody, we shall have no option than to protest against police brutality before the National Assembly, UN and the Human Rights Commission to register our collective displeasure with police brutality on citizens”, the statement concluded..

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