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Sowore, Jalingo: SERAP Writes NJC, Seeks Directives On Citizens’ Rights - Politics - Nairaland

Nairaland Forum / Nairaland / General / Politics / Sowore, Jalingo: SERAP Writes NJC, Seeks Directives On Citizens’ Rights (9675 Views)

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Sowore, Jalingo: SERAP Writes NJC, Seeks Directives On Citizens’ Rights by Tobbydhayor90: 10:35am On Oct 06, 2019
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, (SERAP) has sent an open letter to Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman, National Judicial Council (NJC), urging him to use his offices and leadership of the NJC to “urgently develop measures and issue directives to all courts to respond to the disturbing trends by state governments and federal government to use the court as a tool to suppress citizens’ human rights.”

SERAP said: “Across the country, state governors and federal government are charging citizens, mostly journalists, bloggers and activists, with serious crimes such as ‘treason’, ‘treasonable felony’ or bogus crime of ‘insulting public officials’, simply for exercising their human rights.”

In the letter dated 4 October 2019 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization said: “These charges, refusal of bail and granting of bail on stringent conditions seem to be dangerous manipulation of judicial authority and functions by high-ranking politicians, something which the NJC and the judiciary under your watch should resist.”

SERAP also said: “In the climate of a growing clampdown on human rights of journalists and activists by several state governments and federal government, the NJC ought to push back and act as protector of individuals’ rights against abuses by the authorities. We believe that the courts, not the state government or federal government, should have the final say in matters of citizens’ human rights.”

According to the organization, “The NJC should ensure that when the authorities disobey court orders and suppress human rights, they are not allowed to come to the court and seek reliefs until they purge their contempt. Otherwise, the justice system and the Nigerian constitution become a solemn mockery.”

The letter, copied to Mr. Diego GARCÍA-SAYÁN, UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, read in part: “If the practice by state governments and federal government is allowed to continue, the courts will be relegated to desuetude, and will lead to arbitrary and unrestricted power as well as further suppression of citizens’ human rights.”

“It is essential for the NJC to issue directives to all courts to promptly consider on the face of the papers filed by the authorities whether the charges brought against journalists, bloggers and activists are truly based on facts or fabricated to secure indefinite detention of citizens with judicial authority.”

“In several cases, journalists, bloggers and activists have either been denied bail, as it is the case with journalist Agba Jalingo, or granted bail with stringent conditions that implicitly violate human rights, as it is the case with journalist and activist Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare. In all of such cases, the alleged offences are not constitutionally and internationally recognizable.”

“It is important for the judiciary to exercise all the judicial power placed in its hands by the constitution with firm determination and to guard against encroachments on that power by either the state governments or the federal government.”

“Even during many years of military dictatorship when the constitution was suspended and with it, Nigerians’ fundamental rights, the judiciary was still able to play an important role in securing protection of individuals’ rights and rejecting any forms of executive rascality by drawing on a variety of sources, including the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.”

“The return of democracy in 1999 gave rise to a legitimate public expectation that the NJC and the judiciary would be more active and proactive in enforcing the fundamental rights of Nigerians and pushing back in cases of violations and abuses of those rights, for the sake of the Nigerian constitution of 1999 (as amended) and as a step forward for increased accountability and greater integrity in government.”

“Nigerians now have a high degree of scepticism about the ability of the authorities at the state and federal levels to protect their human rights. We urge you to ensure that the NJC and the judiciary consistently demonstrate their original and sacred functions of standing between government and the governed.”

“Charging citizens for crimes of treason and treasonable felony or ‘insult’ simply for exercising their human rights shows the authorities’ lack of commitment to protecting the human rights of all Nigerians, particularly those who perform critical roles and contribute to strengthening and sustaining the Nigerian democratic system.”

“No government should have the power to use the courts as a tool of overriding the rights of individuals. The NJC has a responsibility to ensure that the courts play a central role in enforcing fundamental rights, and ensuring that the authorities do not use the courts as a tool to charge citizens with crimes, which are not constitutionally and internationally recognizable, simply for exercising their human rights.”

“Democracy requires some protection of the weak from the strong. The NJC ought to push for courts' activism in the area of human rights, especially at this time when the authorities are regularly clamping down on citizens’ human rights. This will enhance democracy, the rule of law, and will be entirely consistent with the constitutional role of the judiciary.”

“Human rights and constitutional principles are fundamental and it is the role of an independent judiciary to give effect to those rights and principles, within the rule of law.”

“We believe that the NJC can ensure that the courts are better protectors of human rights than the executive at state and federal levels can ever be. Indeed, Nigerians including journalists, bloggers and activists require protection from both the state governments and federal government.”

“We believe that it is only an independent and courageous judiciary that can ensure full respect for the human rights of those brought before the courts by the authorities.”

“Agba Jalingo, journalist and publisher of the online CrossRiverWatch, is charged with treason over a report about an alleged diversion of N500 million by the Cross River governor, Ben Ayade. According to our information, a Federal High Court sitting in Calabar, Cross River State, and presided over by Justice Simon Amobeda on October 4 2019 denied him bail. He was handcuffed to another inmate when he appeared in court.”

“Similarly, journalist and activist Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare are facing trial on seven counts of treasonable felony, fraud, cyber-stalking and insulting President Muhammadu Buhari, simply for exercising their human rights.”

“Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu granted Sowore and Bakare bail but imposed stringent conditions that implicitly violate their constitutional rights to personal liberty, presumption of innocence, freedom of movement and freedom of expression.”

“We hope that the aspects highlighted will help guide your action by ensuring that the NJC is able to urgently respond to the threats to judicial independence and authority highlighted above. We would be happy to provide further information or to discuss any of these issues in more detail with you.”

http://serap-nigeria.org/sowore-jalingo-serap-writes-njc-seeks-directives-on-citizens-rights.ngo/

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Re: Sowore, Jalingo: SERAP Writes NJC, Seeks Directives On Citizens’ Rights by PureGoldh(m): 10:37am On Oct 06, 2019
Fingers crossed

Nigerian Government should just free Sowore

8 Likes 1 Share

Re: Sowore, Jalingo: SERAP Writes NJC, Seeks Directives On Citizens’ Rights by henry4991(m): 10:50am On Oct 06, 2019
Good

1 Like 1 Share

Re: Sowore, Jalingo: SERAP Writes NJC, Seeks Directives On Citizens’ Rights by MountainView: 10:50am On Oct 06, 2019
Lolz

1 Like

Re: Sowore, Jalingo: SERAP Writes NJC, Seeks Directives On Citizens’ Rights by owjtyuirty: 10:50am On Oct 06, 2019
state governors and federal government are charging citizens, mostly journalists, bloggers ?

3 Likes 2 Shares

Re: Sowore, Jalingo: SERAP Writes NJC, Seeks Directives On Citizens’ Rights by Ikem11(m): 10:51am On Oct 06, 2019
Am I to read all that? Well, I see "Sowore, Federal Government, Court, CJN, Office, Bail, Condition," Righ Of Citizen".... All that join I can relate what the content of the long epistle is.

"Begging for Sowore release without fulfilling hard bail condition"

If u think CJN hand no dey for that bail condition u must be a joker. Just don't waste your time

13 Likes 5 Shares

Re: Sowore, Jalingo: SERAP Writes NJC, Seeks Directives On Citizens’ Rights by Idsoft: 10:52am On Oct 06, 2019
Nigeria is not a place for human beings, I wonder how we survive in nigeria are we humans

18 Likes

Re: Sowore, Jalingo: SERAP Writes NJC, Seeks Directives On Citizens’ Rights by momodub: 10:52am On Oct 06, 2019
Hummm
Re: Sowore, Jalingo: SERAP Writes NJC, Seeks Directives On Citizens’ Rights by CalabarPikin: 10:52am On Oct 06, 2019
This bubu government is meant for clowns like sowore.....he has been fighting against government maybe ryt from birth..be it gud or bad...

I won't be surprised if they make him president and he wakes up one day and protest against himself...

Na d God of GEJ d punish u so.....take time enjoy urs share now...while others get theirs later

9 Likes 3 Shares

Re: Sowore, Jalingo: SERAP Writes NJC, Seeks Directives On Citizens’ Rights by Mutemenot(m): 10:54am On Oct 06, 2019
Bubu till 2090. We South West must enjoy this Nextlevel

9 Likes

Re: Sowore, Jalingo: SERAP Writes NJC, Seeks Directives On Citizens’ Rights by futurism: 10:54am On Oct 06, 2019
Sowore is not getting out of that place for the next 4 years, if what I read a few weeks back is anything to go by.

We have a landed property for sale a few meters a away from the legendary Canaan City in Ota.

Kindly check my profile for full details
Re: Sowore, Jalingo: SERAP Writes NJC, Seeks Directives On Citizens’ Rights by don4real18(m): 10:55am On Oct 06, 2019
I will love to see Tanko's reply

1 Like

Re: Sowore, Jalingo: SERAP Writes NJC, Seeks Directives On Citizens’ Rights by Citytrend: 10:56am On Oct 06, 2019
I pity for the Family of this man. Just Imagine if you're His mum

Anyway, l will Build a Professional Logo for your Product or Company For 2k Only. Offer valid today only. See my info below to Chat me up on
Re: Sowore, Jalingo: SERAP Writes NJC, Seeks Directives On Citizens’ Rights by Eteka1(m): 10:57am On Oct 06, 2019
Ayade should free Agba Jalingo, that guy has done nothing wrong by writing about how N500 million approved for the state microfinance bank had been diverted. Its surprising that PDP hasn't called its Governor to order.

3 Likes

Re: Sowore, Jalingo: SERAP Writes NJC, Seeks Directives On Citizens’ Rights by scribble: 10:58am On Oct 06, 2019
Buhari is a despot and a tyrant

Bloody fulani vampire

7 Likes

Re: Sowore, Jalingo: SERAP Writes NJC, Seeks Directives On Citizens’ Rights by notoriousbabe: 10:58am On Oct 06, 2019
Letter to Tanko?imagine Tanko of all people. You're talking to a wrong person jo

5 Likes

Re: Sowore, Jalingo: SERAP Writes NJC, Seeks Directives On Citizens’ Rights by Ikem11(m): 10:59am On Oct 06, 2019
futurism:
Sowore is not getting out of that place for the next 4 years, if what I read a few weeks back is anything to go by.

We have a landed property for sale a few meters a away from the legendary Canaan City in Ota.

Kindly check my profile for full details

4 years small... If na with this long talk without any protest that result many dying that guy go stay there till buhari finish and by mistake if another APC member take over government na e be say him go die inside

2 Likes

Re: Sowore, Jalingo: SERAP Writes NJC, Seeks Directives On Citizens’ Rights by Olafada(m): 10:59am On Oct 06, 2019
I stand with So wore

2 Likes 1 Share

Re: Sowore, Jalingo: SERAP Writes NJC, Seeks Directives On Citizens’ Rights by Lec25(m): 11:01am On Oct 06, 2019
true be told things are falling apart

2 Likes 1 Share

Re: Sowore, Jalingo: SERAP Writes NJC, Seeks Directives On Citizens’ Rights by ednut1(m): 11:01am On Oct 06, 2019
These guys should stop wasting time. Wait till 2023 . Buhari is a dictator . Not new

4 Likes

Re: Sowore, Jalingo: SERAP Writes NJC, Seeks Directives On Citizens’ Rights by jasmine1600: 11:01am On Oct 06, 2019
They should enjoy enjoy their sai baba till 2050.
They helped in bringing this disaster and backwardness to Nigeria.
If Jonathan had Done this.
They would have occupied Nigeria.
All those fools on Twitter like JJ Omojuwa doesn’t tweet politics again.

3 Likes

Re: Sowore, Jalingo: SERAP Writes NJC, Seeks Directives On Citizens’ Rights by berrystunn(m): 11:01am On Oct 06, 2019
3D +
Re: Sowore, Jalingo: SERAP Writes NJC, Seeks Directives On Citizens’ Rights by 0coded80: 11:01am On Oct 06, 2019
CJN couldn't want to be sack. Nigeria is a failed country. wishing Nigeria happy Independence will be a mockery on the whole system.

4 Likes 1 Share

Re: Sowore, Jalingo: SERAP Writes NJC, Seeks Directives On Citizens’ Rights by Eteka1(m): 11:02am On Oct 06, 2019
scribble:
Buhari is a despot and a tyrant

Bloody fulani vampire
What about Governor Ben Ayade of PDP?

1 Like

Re: Sowore, Jalingo: SERAP Writes NJC, Seeks Directives On Citizens’ Rights by sylve11: 11:03am On Oct 06, 2019
with all the charms this guy pack for neck, them fit stil catch him? undecided tongue cool

1 Like

Re: Sowore, Jalingo: SERAP Writes NJC, Seeks Directives On Citizens’ Rights by Abalado(f): 11:04am On Oct 06, 2019
I can't even read the poems self, and am very sure many of the commenters didn't read it too and they just comment,, lol,, the story is too long for me to read, call me lazy Nigerian youth I agree

2 Likes 1 Share

Re: Sowore, Jalingo: SERAP Writes NJC, Seeks Directives On Citizens’ Rights by foolbuster: 11:05am On Oct 06, 2019
Story. Sharia court know wetin be human right?

3 Likes

Re: Sowore, Jalingo: SERAP Writes NJC, Seeks Directives On Citizens’ Rights by seunlayi(m): 11:06am On Oct 06, 2019
But the time pmb comes to realize his mistakes on this sowore matter, he will definitely sack the person advising him on this or befriend the person if he is out of power by that time but if he is the one that decided things should go this way, he will 4ever nurse personal hatred against himself

1 Like

Re: Sowore, Jalingo: SERAP Writes NJC, Seeks Directives On Citizens’ Rights by Royalfurnitures: 11:07am On Oct 06, 2019
Under this PMB govt, NJC is almost impotent, thing might come out of that letter



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2 Likes

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