The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has condemned the Friday Court fracas involving men of the DSS that rearrested Omoleye Sowore.
The commission in a statement by it Executive Secretary, Tony Ojukwu, said law enforcement officials must operate within the law.
“The National Human Rights Commission has watched with dismay the conduct of law enforcement officers in facie curie yesterday Friday 6th Dec 2019 at the Federal High court Abuja.
” The Commission reiterates the need for law enforcement officials to understand that to qualify as law enforcement agents, the must first of all be law abiding and not be above the law. As officials paid with tax payers money, there is no room for impunity and utter disregard for the constitution.
“Our democracy is founded on the principle of separation of powers and all citizens including law enforcement officials must understand the implications of that and are enjoined to respect the law and the constitution in the enforcement of the law, ” Ojukwu said.
He urged all the relevant agencies of government to arrest and try all law enforcement officers involved in the desecration of the hallowed chambers of the federal high court Abuja for contempt of court.
Ojukwu said they should be tried to serve as a reminder to all law enforcement agents that they must obey the law in carrying out their law enforcement duties.
” They must enforce the law within the law. Impunity by law enforcement officials cannot be indulged in our democracy because impunity uproots the very foundation of our constitution and our democracy,” Ojukwu stressed.
Also condeming the act, the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in a statement by it National Secretary, Shuaibu Usman Leman, described the action of the DSS as unacceptable.
“The National Secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) views the absurdities of the ongoing drama by Agents of the Department of Security Service with dissatisfaction and disenchantment, especially the unnecessary violation of the sanctity of the court and rearrest of Omoleye Sowore.
“The NUJ had on several occasions initiated moves towards fostering safety of journalists and building synergy with agents of the state but unfortunately, brutalisation and impunity by security agents still pervade. There is indeed an overriding need and urgency to promote safety of journalists and fight impunity against them, in order to create the enabling environment they require to optimally perform their fundamental functions in a democracy.
“We condemn in its totality the conduct of the DSS and call for disciplinary measures against whosoever authorised that jungle behaviour of the DSS Operatives and demand for an unqualified apology from the Federal Government for the dastardly conduct of the DSS and an assurance that such an unwholesome conduct will not repeat itself again.
We are afraid that such brazen acts only remind us of totalitarian regimes and not genuine democracies of which the Buhari Administration prides itself of.
” We equally note with alarm that such lack of respect for the law is gradually pushing the country into implosion. It is however not too late to make amends,” Leman said.