Condemns harassment of Raymond Dokpesi, AIT
A civil rights organization- Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has decried what it describes as the rising wave of Federal Government’s intolerance of political pluralism, press freedom and freedom of expression.
HURIWA in a statement by its National coordinator Emmanuel Onwubiko and National media Affairs Director Zainab Yususf, argued that rights to freedom of association and the press are not only legal but fundamental and not criminal.
The group therefore said it has resolved to petition the offices of the United States president; prime minister of Britain and the European Union to call President Muhammadu Buhari to order so his regime stops threatening press freedom.
The group blasted Buhari for “illegal use of security agencies and the Ministry of Federal capital Territory to go after Nigeria’s best known media mogul and Africa’s largest television- African Independent Television Chief Raymond Dokpesi over his perceived political affiliations regarded as diverging from that of the All Progressives Congress (APC).”
HURIWA condemned the demolition of sections of the imposing complex housing the AIT by officials of the FCT and the recent “illegal” detention at the international Airport by Nigeria Immigration services (NIS) OF Chief Dokpesi who had just retured from overseas medical care.
HURIWA said: “the arrest, continuous harassment of Chief Dokpesi was well -coordinated plots to intimidate, cow and compel him and to undermine the independence of the only surviving independent television in Nigeria because of the predisposition of the African Independent Television to allow all shades of opinions in their broadcast station. “
HURIWA while accusing the president of planning to institute tyranny said Nigeria will be worst of it:s tolerated..
“Nigeria and Nigerians will be worst off should President Muhammadu Buhari be tolerated to instituted incipient tyranny which is what he has since started introducing with his initial serial flouting of court orders; attacks targeting judges including the illegal deposition of the head of the judicial arm of government and his government’s persistent witch hunt targeting political opposition using all security forces and especially the highly compromised Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).”
The Rights group has also accused a section of the judiciary of criminal ccollusion with the totalitarian presidency to undermine the enjoyments of the constitutionally guaranteed fundamental freedoms
According to the group, this is manifested in the recent “unlawful” jailing of a human rights activists Mr. I.G. Awala over a spurious charge of belonging to a so called unregistered association.
HURIWA said the jailing of the activist is unconstitutional and must never be allowed to stand.
It added that Constitution is supreme and its provisions shall have binding force on the authorities and persons throughout the Federal republic of Nigeria.”
The group also tasked Nigerians to resist a return to “full blown dictatorship through every conceivable legal mechanism.”