Front line Advocacy Group-:HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has condemned strongly the alleged invasion of offices of the CIVIL SOCIETY, LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY CENTRE (CISLAC) by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS).
We join our voice with voices of rational, patriotic Nigerians to ask that the director General of DSS should order an immediate investigation of the alleged invasion of the offices of one of Nigeria’s credible, reputable civil society platforms that for many years have worked selflessly to advance the cause of constitutionalism and democracy in Nigeria.
We want to repeat our call on the DSS to set up a feed back mechanism or a human rights desk in all DSS facilities all over Nigeria in such a way that Nigerians who have grievances with the DSS operatives can send petitions to ventilate their grievances against the DSS operatives and there is a need for DSS to activate internal monitoring investigative mechanism to provide remedial redress to citizens whose rights are violated.
Due to widespread reports regarding the violation of human rights, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has urged the Department of State Services (DSS) to establish a human rights desk to enable members of the public register their complaints when their rights are violated.
This was disclosed in a statement issued on by its national coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and national media affairs director, Miss. Zainab Yusuf.
According to HURIWA, the DSS should ensure the establishment of a “human rights desk where members of the public can report breaches of their constitutionally guaranteed rights.”
It also desired that the unit would “interface with credible civil rights organisations for manpower and capacity training of operatives on global best practices and legal obligations.”
The statement reads, “Once more, we urge the hierarchy of the nation’s DSS to set up a Human Rights desk whereby the members of the public can report cases of breaches of their constitutionally guaranteed Human Rights and for this unit or department to interface with credible civil Rights organizations for the purposes of man-power and capacity training of the operatives on global best practices and their legal obligations to respect the Constitutional rights of the citizens including those in conflict with the law because even section 36 (5) of the Constitution recognizes suspects as being innocent in the eye of the law”.
HURIWA recalled that CISLAC, had in a letter signed by its Executive Director, Auwal Ibrahim Musa Rafsanjani, urged the DG to call his men to order, even as he demanded to know the purpose for such visit.
The letter dated, December 29 read: “Intimidating and profiling of civil society groups during Yuletide…
“On Monday, December 27, 2021, operatives of your agency, DSS stormed the premises of our office, CISLAC, the National Chapter of Transparency International, Nigeria at No 16 POW Mafemi Crescent, Off Solomon Lar Way, Jabi. Laying siege, the operatives demanded to see the chief security officer of the building.
“On learning about this, our initial thought was that these were individuals masquerading as DSS agents considering the fact that this was not just during the holiday period, but it was on a day declared as a public holiday by the Federal Government. This thought was further reinforced by the fact that (there) was no prior notice, invitation or pending request from your office regarding any of such visit. “However, when we put a call through to the number dropped with our office security personnel, an individual further confirmed he was an agent of your agency providing details of his position.”
The letter further said: “Considering recent activities of criminals using official security covers to perpetrate wanton criminalities in the recent past, we want you to use your good offices to investigate those who carried out this visit and for what purpose(s).”
HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) therefore is reminding the Department of State Services that Nigeria is currently under Constitutional democracy whereby the perception that brute force or might is right has been abrogated constitutionally and the citizens are guaranteed their Human Rights as encapsulated in chapter 4 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 as amended.
COMRADE EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO: NATIONAL COORDINATOR
HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA)
DECEMBER 30TH 2021.