Abuja - Civil society organisations (CSOs) have expressed solidarity with the families of some political leaders who are detained for what are argued to be trumped up charges.
Among those under probe for different allegations are pro-Biafra activist, Nnamdi Kanu, Muslim leader Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.
Their alleged crimes range from treason and corruption.
“We call upon the families, followers, supporters, friends and lawyers of those citizens accused openly by President Muhammadu Buhari of being in conflict with the law particularly the trios of citizens, Nnamdi Kanu, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and Sambo Dasuki not to be cowed by any presidential intimidation but to have implicit confidence in judiciary as the country’s bastion of democracy and last hope of the common man,” said Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman of the International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety).
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While the courts have mostly ruled in favour of the accused to be granted bail, the Department of State Security has defied such orders.
“The culture of disobedience to court orders adopted consequent upon the direct orders of President Buhari as well as the attitude of resorting to “re-arrest” and slamming of fresh charges should not deter them (families) as well,” said Umeagbalasi.
He said in handling these, in addition to preparation of their defense and bail applications; their lawyers must not lose the sight of clear provisions of Sections 36 (8), 36 (12) and 35 of the 1999 Constitution as well as Sections 293 to 296 and 150 to 188 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act of 2015.
These provisions are adequate safeguards to crush the criminal investigative and prosecutorial gambling and ouster practices presently adopted by the Presidency of Buhari, Umeagbalasi said.
“Let them continue to disobey court ordered bails and go on and on in re-arresting the accused and re-charging them until graver felonies in the Criminal Code are exhausted; resulting to them being charged for “common or simple assault.”
- CAJ News