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* - Intersociety Rejects Kangaroo Trial By Nigeria Police IG
By Intersociety Nigeria
(Onitsha Nigeria, August 6, 2011)-Late evening Friday, August 5, 2011, at about 11pm, the leadership of the International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law was authoritatively informed that the trio of STW(Inspector) Emmanuel Mlanga(detained since July 8, 2011), STW Adamu Dogara( detained since July 12,2011) and TWGD 111(Constable) David Oyishoma(detained July 30,2011) were taken to the Nigeria Police Force Headquarters in Abuja, at about 3pm and “arraigned “ before a two-man “Orderly-Room Trial” Committee, headed by Chief Superintendent of Police Anthony Ekong, on so-called “two-count charge” of “breach of confidence” and “incredible conduct”. The other member of the “trial” committee is Assistant Superintendent of Police Akubo. Superintendent of Police Shinkut and Assistant Superintendent of Police Frank are Police “prosecution” witnesses, while Assistant Superintendent of Police Murtala Shafi’u acts as “the Investigation Police Officer” or “IPO”. After the so-called “charges” were read, the “trial” was adjourned till Monday, August 8, 2011 when the “prosecution witnesses” would “testify”. The trio, who were taken back to their detention cells at about 7pm, had earlier been taken to the CP Provost, Mrs. Sherifat Disu who ordered their “trial” at the instance of the IGP, Hafiz A. Ringim. The fourth wanted officer, STW Samuel Uwakwe, whose annual leave expired on Friday, August 5, 2011, is already in Abuja, to appear at the Force Headquarters by Monday, August 8, 2011. He is expected to be “arraigned” on similar “count charges”.
By Monday, August 8, 2011, STW Emmanuel Mlanga would have been detained for 30 days, or one month, or 720 hours, which is 672 hours more than allowed by law in the context of proper court trial. Also by the same date, STW Adamu Dogara would have been detained for 27 days, or a month minus a day, or 648 hours, 600 hours more than constitutionally allowed; and TWGD 111(Constable) David Oyishoma would have been detained for nine days, or almost quarter of a month, or 216 hours, 168 hours more than constitutionally allowed. On the other hand, by the same Monday (08-08-2011), STW Samuel Uwakwe’s rights to personal liberty and freedom of movement would have been lost for one month, or 30 days, or 720 hours.
Furthermore, our reasonable suspicion that the trio are also being held in solitary confinement came to fore on Friday (08-08-2011) when our sources covertly interviewed them, and they have this to say: “our detention cells, especially the Asokoro Police cell, are under lock and key 24 hours a day. Since our detention dates, 08-07-11, 12-07-11 and 30-07-2011, our families including wives and children as well as lawyers and doctors have been denied access to us. Our captives hardly feed us, not to talk of giving us balanced diets. As a matter of fact, we manage to buy our own food through sympathetic officers. Not minding the present cold weather propelled by raining season, they keep us on the bare floors with stinking mats. When sick and reported, they do not even care, we manage to source for drugs. Our toilets and bathrooms stink and we buy Izal disinfectants to make them useable.”
In view of the foregoing, therefore, we reject, in its entirety, the so-called “Orderly-Room Trial” initiated against the three gallant Traffic Wardens and planned inclusion by Monday, August 8, 2011, of STW Samuel Uwakwe in the draconian and unconstitutional proceedings. Our rejection of this stone-age approach is expressly total! Apart from lacking universalized ingredients such as right of fair-hearing, which foundationalize the Law of Natural Justice, the approach is face-saving and an escape route designed lately and belatedly too, by IGP Hafiz A. Ringim and his sub-commanders to escape the damnable culpability in detention without trial and solitary confinement of the three Citizen-Warders, seriously frowned at, by both our Constitution and various international human rights treaties entered into by the Federal Republic of Nigeria including the African Charter on Human & Peoples’ Rights. The circumstance, under which the so-called “Orderly-Room Trial” is instituted, gravely breaches the 1999 Constitution, as amended, especially her Section 36(fair-hearing and timely proper court trial). It is a settled norm in law that no matter how good a matter is, if its prosecutorial process is gravely faulty, it stands to be quashed judicially. Apart from the draconian nature of the “Orderly-Room Trial” principles, the so-called “trial” in the instant case, is also instituted in grave violation of the fair-hearing and the trial periods allowed by law. Therefore, having been predicated on false and injurious foundation, it cannot stand.
Also, apart from criminal denial of adequate legal representation, no adequate time was given to the Citizen-Warders to prepare for the so-called “trial”. They were also not informed of the imminence of the “trial”, and whether they would submit themselves to such “trial”. They were not formally informed of the so called “offences” they “committed”, except at the “trial” venue. There are subsisting Appellate Court’s pronouncements, which nullified obnoxious features or principles of the “Orderly-Room Trial”, and for any “Orderly-Room Trial” to be satisfactorily evaluated, it must possess the above features and more. But for lacking the fundamental ingredients of fair-hearing and for being instituted over 670 hours after the arrest and detention of the Citizen-Warders, the so-called “Orderly-Room Trial” for the “trial” of the trio of STWs Emmanuel Mlanga(detained since 08-07-2011 in Wuse Police cell) and Adamu Dogara(detained since 12-07-2011 in Asokoro Police cell), as well as TWGD 111 David Oyishoma(detained since 30-07-2011 in Wuse Police cell), is null and void, and of no effects whatsoever . If the authorities of the Nigeria Police Force, headed by IGP Hafiz A. Ringim goes ahead and mete out any sanctions predicated on such unconstitutional proceedings, the courts shall be invited to quash them with huge financial costs against the Police authorities.
We had expected the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Hafiz A. Ringim(+234(0)803325349) and the Force Public Relations’ Office, headed by DCP Shola Amore( +234(0)8037391280) to admit their grievous blunders and profusely apologize to Nigerians, unfortunately, what Nigerians got was raw display of official brigandage and chronic un-repentance. As a result, we renew our earlier call upon the President & Commander-in-Chief, who is also the chairman of the Nigeria Police Council to act swiftly before it is too late, by showing the IGP out of the Nigeria Police High Command. We also renew our similar call, earlier on, on the Nigeria Police Service Commission to sanction the trio of the DIG Administration, DIG Operations and the CP Provost for their perceived grievous violations of the provisions of the 1999 Constitution, as amended. The three detained Citizen-Warders as well as STW Samuel Uwakwe should be discharged and acquitted of all bogus charges levelled them by the authorities of the Nigeria Police Force headed by IGP Hafiz A. Ringim.
Amaka Biachi Nwosu
Head, Research & Strategy
Photo Above: Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Intersociety, 41, Miss Elems Street, Fegge, Onitsha, Anambra State, Nigeria.
Watch Them!! - Do not allow Kangaroo courts in Nigeria.
*Tags: Nigerians, Intersociety, Kangaroo, Trial, Police, Ringim, Africa, Masterweb
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