A Human rights body, “Human Rights Writers Association” (HURIWA) has charged the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Dikko Abubakar to be objective and non partisan in handling cases involving different political parties in the country.
It therefore called for the immediate release or prosecution in competent court of law, of Malam Basiru Maragwiwa and Samaila Oko over alleged involvement in an inter-party fight which resulted in one fatality.
According to a statement by the national coordinator of HURIWA, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, the detention of the two All Progressives Congress(APC) members for over a month at a cell without trial in Abuja for an offence allegedly committed in Sokoto, was a total negation of several provisions of the fundamental rights in chapter 4 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 (as amended).
Onwubiuko counselled the police to ensure its personnel were well trained and made not to favour one party over the other, pointing out that clamping people with opposing views to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) or moving such people from their respective States for detention in Abuja without trial fouls all provisions on human rights.
Rather than keep Maragwiwa and Oko in detention perpetually without charging them before a court of competent jurisdiction, he insisted that that they should be taken to court and availed the opportunity to defend themselves and be granted bail.
The duo were allegedly arrested in Sokoto over alleged killing of a member of the Peoples Democratic Party [name withheld] during a political crisis in the State recently
“In the thinking of HURIWA the detention of suspects for more than the constitutionally required period is in direct breach of sections 35(1) (4); 35(5) (a) and (b); 36(1) 36(5).
“The Rights group reminds the Inspector General of police that section 35(4) states thus; “Any person who is arrested or detained in accordance with subsection (1) (c) of this section shall be brought before a court of law within a reasonable time…”, he said.
“Section 35(5)(a) and (b) provide that the expression 'a reasonable time' means in the case of an arrest or detention in any place where there is court of competent jurisdiction within a radius of forty kilometers, a period of one day; and in any other case, a period of two days or such longer period as the circumstances may be considered by the court to be reasonable.”
“We strongly canvass the strict adherence to the constitutional provision in section 36(5) which is of the unambiguous position that every person who is charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed to be innocent until he is proved guilty".
"We urge the Inspector General of police to use his good offices to direct that these two suspects be granted their constitutionally guaranteed rights by directing his officers at the Force Criminal Investigation Department in Abuja, to conclude investigation on time and to seek the advice of the Sokoto State Director of public prosecution on going forward. The insinuation in Sokoto among most people is that the Abuja police hierarchy is playing to the gallery in this matter to please the national hierarchy of the Peoples Democratic Party”, the statement concluded.