Balancing human rights and national security (1) by FESTUS OKOYE

*REFLECTIONS:* *#FreeZakzaky will today bring to you the first of a series of four articles that will thoroughly analyze the judgement of the Federal High Court, Abuja ordering the release of Sheikh Zakzaky and the incoherent contemptuous reaction of Buhari’s government through his aides. Analysis was by Festus Okoye, one of the lawyers standing for Sheikh Zakzaky and the Islamic Movement in Nigeria. Happy reading* 👇🏼

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*Balancing human rights and national security (1)*

_by FESTUS OKOYE_

There is a thin line separating respect and observance of human rights and its consequent violation on grounds of national security.

Respect, observance and enforcement of human rights by the state is not a function of optional charity but underlines the goodness of open societies founded on the rule of law and due process.

Sometimes, the progress and stability of countries are measured and anchored on their human rights record and countries that serially violate the rights of their citizens are classified as pariah states.

Of course, it is not always easy to respect and observe the rights of the people especially in countries with a history of conflict, economic and political challenges. In such societies, the state is always tempted to rule outside the law and the constitution. It is on this score that modern constitutions recognize the primacy of respect and protection of the human rights of the citizens and the need to carefully and restrictively derogate from the observance of human rights on grounds of national security.

The framers of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) recognize the fact that the government and some of its institutions and agencies may abuse the exceptions to the fundamental rights in Chapter IV of the Constitution and on that score decided to vest the power of maintaining the boundaries of the rights in a different organ of government.

In other words, the framers of the constitution did not give any individual or institution the option to capriciously derogate from the fundamental rights of the Nigerian people.

The constitution on its own delineates the parameters under which the fundamental rights of the citizen can be abridged and gives only to the judiciary the power and mandate to determine when and whether the institutions of government have exercised their powers within the parameters of the law.

One remarkable aspect of the Nigerian Constitution is that section 46(1) protects anticipatory breach of rights and provides that any person who alleges that any of the provisions of Chapter IV has been, is being or likely to be contravened in any State in relation to him may apply to a High Court in that State for redress while section 46(2) provides that subject to the provisions of the Constitution, a High Court shall have original jurisdiction to hear and determine any application made to it in pursuance of the section and may make such orders, issue such writs and give such directions as it may consider appropriate for the purpose of enforcement or securing the enforcement within that State of any right to which the person who makes the application may be entitled to.

Those exercising executive powers in the government are fully aware that the judiciary is the only arm or organ of government vested with the power of pronouncing the actions of government or any of its agencies as constitutional or unconstitutional.

It is therefore an incongruity and patently unacceptable for an individual to vary the orders and judgement of a court of law and mock the judiciary by declaring that the executive arm of government is the repository of judicial powers.

I make these preliminary comments bearing in mind the pronouncement of my good friend Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity and Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Hon. Minister of Information and Culture on why Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) and Col. Sambo Dasuki are still being held in detention.

Garba Shehu posited while addressing State House Correspondents on Tuesday the 23rd day of May 2017 that the Federal Government of Nigeria is still holding Dasuki because there are additional charges against him for which he has not been granted bail.

He stated that security agencies were still conducting investigations on some allegations against the ex-National Security Adviser and this forms the crux of his continued detention.

On Zakzaky, the leader of IMN, Shehu asserted that he is still in detention for his own safety.

He further stated that the government fears that there would be a breakdown of law and order if Zakzaky was allowed to go home as “Government has a responsibility to ensure his safety”.

He pointed out that Zakzaky “is not in a prison type of detention. “He is in the company of his wife and children voluntarily” and that “government is being compassionate on this matter.

There is an overall public good that government is looking at in this matter.” The Minister of Information and Culture, on his own part, spoke in the same vein.

Featuring on Osasu Show, the minister stated that: “Every government will balance national security with human rights; every country in the world. It is the level of the balancing.

As a government, I will balance national security against human rights; and then I will take a decision. Because there is security, there is stability that the courts also exist.

What I am saying (is) that the court has ruled but the court does not have the entire picture when it comes to national security. I am a lawyer too; therefore, I have utmost respect for the judiciary.

“You can’t pick two, three cases which bother on national security to condemn a whole government and say this government is a government of impunity. How many cases are determined daily in Nigeria? I still say every government has that right to balance national security.”

I do not have sufficient information on the trajectory of the cases involving Col. Dasuki.

The cases involving him and those he is involved in have traversed domestic and regional courts and I have lost count of the number of bail applications filed and granted and or refused.

I am only aware of the fact that he has been arraigned before a properly constituted court of law and granted bail and that bail has not been honoured. I am also aware that he filed a suit before the ECOWAS Court and the government has not honoured the judgement of the ECOWAS Court.

In the case of Zakzaky, he has never been confronted with any allegation of the commission of any offence known to the laws of Nigeria or unknown to the laws of Nigeria.

He has never been arraigned before any court of law in Nigeria or outside Nigeria. He has repeatedly pleaded to be charged to court if he has committed any offence and his request has been turned down.

He has repeatedly pleaded to be allowed to seek medical attention to prevent the loss of both eyes and his request has been turned down.

In the absence of any other option, he approached the Federal High Court Abuja for the enforcement of his fundamental right and the Federal High Court ordered for his unconditional release.

Now Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity is not a lawyer but Lai Mohammed is a senior member of the Bar.

I am willing to make excuses for Garba Shehu for thinking that the judgement of a Court of Law can be edited, abridged or varied by the Executive branch of government on grounds of national security interests.

But I am sure that he knows that constitutionally, the powers that the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary wield are the powers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and that no branch of the government can or is permitted to assume superiority in terms of knowledge of national security issues and interests over other arms of government.

However, I am not ready to make or offer excuses for the Honourable Minister of Information and Culture in relation to the casting and profiling of the issues surrounding the continued detention of Zakzaky and his wife. As a lawyer, the Honourable Minister knows the law and the constitution.

The minister has been in the barricade in defense of the fundamental rights of the citizens of Nigeria to free speech and freedom of association. So what has changed and what has led to the balancing and editing of the powers of the judiciary by the executive branch of government?

What are the facts and what are the issues relating to the continued detention of Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat Ibrahim?

Did the office of the Attorney General of the Federation that represented the Department of State Services (DSS), the Police at the Federal High Court, Abuja canvass the issue of state security and protective custody before the court? What orders did the court make and why is it difficult for the government to obey the orders of a properly constituted court of law?

What are the implications of the refusal of the government to obey the orders of its own court?

*_to be continued_*

This discourse was published in:
*New Telegraph Newspaper*

_Sanctity of Truth_

 

*Brought to you by #FreeZakzaky Campaign Committee, June 2017.*

PRESS STATEMENT: Release Zakzaky and wife to us – Concerned Nigerians

*PRESS STATEMENT: Release Zakzaky and wife to us – Concerned Nigerians*

We watched the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed with dismay and anger on Channels TV as he tried to justify the continuous and unlawful detention of Sheik Zakzaky and his wife.

Alhaji Lai Mohammed said that sheik Zakzaky and his wife are not being detained or in custody of the police or DSS but in a home built by this government. This assertion by Minister of Information is not only false but unacceptable to all well meaning Nigerians and an insult to our collective sensibility.

You’d recall that over 1000 shittes were killed by government forces in Zaria back in 2015 and till date no one is on trial. The sheik and his wife have been denied access to his immediate and extended family, his lawyers and members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) who are his immediate constituent. How can the Minister of Information say the Sheik and his wife are living in a house built by this government and no member of his immediate family, his lawyers or IMN members have been allowed to visit him in that house?

Information available to us suggests that Sheik Zakzaky and his wife are still in DSS custody and have remained there ever since their arrest in December 2015.

It is not true that no Nigerian is willing to be a neighbor to Sheik zakzaky or accept him.

We are willing and ready to accept Zakzaky as neighbor. Infact our Kaduna state coordinator and members both in Kaduna city and Zaria are ready to house Zakzaky and his wife and support their reintegration into the society. We are also willing and ready to provide accommodation for Zakzaky and his wife pending his permanent reintegration.

We are therefore appealing to the federal government to release sheik Zakzaky and his wife to us and end his unlawful and illegal prolonged incaceration. This government must remember that the world is watching and that it has the worst human rights violation record in the history of our country.

God bless Nigeria.

Signed: Deji Adeyanju
Convener Concerned Nigerians.

John Danfulani
Secretary

DETENTION OF SHEIKH ZAKZAKY: YET SOME MORE BAREFACED LIES BY LAI

*Today’s Press Release from IMN:*

DETENTION OF SHEIKH ZAKZAKY: YET SOME MORE BAREFACED LIES BY LAI

The Minister of Information, Mr Lai Mohammed, on Thursday spoke to Channels TV on the continued illegal detention of Sheikh Zakzaky, insisting that he is in “protective custody” with his family. The Islamic Movement in Nigeria finds this absurd and an insult on the collective intelligence of the good people of Nigeria and the international community.

Why should the executive arm of the government still insist on “protective custody” defence of their contemptuous posture, when the federal high court in Abuja had rejected that notion categorically and set our leader, Sheikh Zakzaky free? The judiciary was emphatically against the argument by the government of “protective custody” alibi, insisting that it has no place in the constitution or any laws known to man.

A further insult on the intelligence of Nigerians was when Lai went on to claim that Sheikh Zakzaky is not being detained by the known detaining authorities in Nigeria because he is not in prison or in Department of State Services (DSS) or police cell but in a “house” with his family. This blatant lie should make the Minister bury his head in shame. Firstly, what do you call detention if the detainee’s liberties are curtailed so much as to deny him free movement and association? Sheikh Zakzaky is being denied his rights to freely move and associate. He is being denied access to even medical care of his choice and the last time he saw his lawyers was over a year ago. Secondly, what the world knows is that he is in the custody of DSS, and that is the fact. To say anything that would suggest that he isn’t in the custody of DSS is extremely dishonest. The assertion by the Minister even went to the extreme of implying that the Sheikh is in a house built for him by the Federal government as ordered by the court. This fraudulent lie by Lai is felonious to put it mildly. We challenge the Federal government to open the gates of the house and invite journalists, his supporters and the international community to visit him in the house to gauge the degree of his freedom!

Mr Lai’s shameless lies were simply inexhaustible.  He went further to suggest that the Federal government attempted to obey the court order by building a house for him, but was deterred by people not wanting to accept to be his neighbours. This is a gross perversion of truths by the Minister. In the first place, the Federal High court had ordered the Federal government to build a house for the Sheikh in Kaduna or any town of his choice in northern Nigeria. As far as we know, neither the Sheikh nor his solicitors were approached by the government to enquire about the Sheikh’s choice of his new residence. So how did the government go about looking for where to build the house? Secondly, we again challenge the government to publicise the places it went about seeking for the new residence and were turned back by neighbours, and we would in turn show people who are more than willing to be Sheikh’s neighbours in such places. Our response therefore to the sarcastic rhetoric by Lai that where they will release Sheikh Zakzaky to since nobody wants to be a neighbour is to simply say that they should release him and see the millions of willing neighbours from among his followers and sympathisers.

Notwithstanding these recent somersaults by the Federal government through Lai and Garba Shehu on the continued unjustifiable detention of the Sheikh and his wife in contempt of the court, we will not relent in our unequivocal call for the immediate and unconditional release of both and all the other members of the Islamic Movement being detained in various detention facilities including underground cells.
SIGNED BY

IBRAHIM MUSA

PRESIDENT MEDIA FORUM OF IMN

18/06/17

Skype: Ibrahim.musa42

Defeat of Another Fraudulent Propaganda by Nigerian Govt Against Sheikh Zakzaky:

Defeat of Another Fraudulent Propaganda by Nigerian Govt Against Sheikh Zakzaky:

The penchant for lies and false propaganda by the Nigerian Information Minister, Lia Mohammed, is legendary. This is expected from a clueless government that woefully failed to record a single achievement in two years of existence. When President Buhari went for his 50+ days medical tourism to London, Mr. Lia Mohammed lied to Nigerians that “President Buhari is hale and healthy”. When the Minister of Information last week stated another compound lie that the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), His Eminence Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, does not have any Nigerian that want to be his neighbor, Nigerians were shocked.

The compound lie of Mr. Lia Mohammed prompted a prominent Nigerian activist, Dr. John Danfulani (a Christian) to conduct an online poll on his Twitter Handle with the question:”Who do you prefer as your neighbor?”. Two options were given, Alh Lia Mohammed and Sheikh Zakzaky. Sheikh Zakzaky resoundingly won with 73% of the total votes by Nigerians while the Information Minister got 27% votes.

In December 2015 President Buhari sent heavily-armed Soldiers to Zaria city in Northern Nigeria and they brutally slaughtered more than one thousand innocent Nigerian civilians and wickedly dumped their dead bodies in mass graves at night to bury the evidences. This monumental savagery and barbarism attracted international condemnation and Nigerians call for prosecution of the murderous criminals that perpetrated this inhumanity. For 553 Days today the Nigerian government has failed to prosecute a single person. Those the Nigerian government are holding in illegal detention and prosecuting are the lucky survivors with gunshot wounds and most of them had lost loved ones to this state-sponsored genocide by the Buhari administration.

The recent lies and false propaganda by the Nigerian Information Minister is part of the viscous and mischievous campaigns of calumny and demonization by the Nigerian government against Sheikh Zakzaky, Shia Islam, Iran and peaceful IMN. During the brutal and inhuman #ZariaMassacre of 1000+ innocent Nigerians, the Nigerian Army brutally murdered 3 children of Sheikh Zakzaky, killed his young Nephew, burnt his 70+ year old sister alive and destroyed all his residence and properties. Despite this peak of inhumanity and savagery, President Buhari is holding Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife in illegal detention incommunicado for more than 16 months despite an order by a competent court for them to be freed.

It was not the neighbors of Sheikh #Zakzaky that attacked his residence on 13th Dec, 2015, killed his 3 children & burnt his sister alive. It was President Buhari who sent the Nigerian Army to kill 3 children of Sheikh Zakzaky & burnt his sister alive. Sheikh Zakzaky has millions of followers who will be honored to be his neighbors. Millions of Nigerian Christians will also like to have him as neighbor. And millions of Sunni Muslims in Nigeria will be honored to have Sheikh #Zakzaky, epitome of Muslim unity at the world stage, as a neighbor. Unfortunately, Buhari’s Minister of Information thought that 180 million Nigerians are bloodthirsty Wahhabi savages, supporters of #ISIS.

Nigerians are asking this important question:”Why did President Buhari brutally slaughtered 1000+ Shia civilians & dumped bodies in mass graves at night? Nigerians are also asking President Buhari this question:”You brutally murdered 3 children of a Nigerian citizen & you are holding him in illegal detention for more than 16 months despite a court order to free him?

Only murderous criminals like the perpetrators of Zaria massacre will think they can butchered 1000+ civilians & get away with mass murder. They had done anything humanly possible to bury the inhuman massacre but woefully failed. The UN Human Rights Council just highlighted it last week in Geneva. After they brutally slaughtered 1000+ innocent Nigerians, they wickedly deprived the loved ones the burial of the victims. Kaduna state Governor dumped their dead bodies in mass graves at night to bury the evidences then quickly destroyed all the physical evidences of the massacre.

On a final note, heartfelt condolences to all the families of victims of the inhuman Zaria massacre once again. God give you the fortitude to bear our huge losses!

Harun Elbinawi
elbinawi@yahoo.com
Elbinawi.wordpress.com

Defeat of Another Fraudulent Propaganda by Nigerian Govt Against Sheikh Zakzaky:

Defeat of Another Fraudulent Propaganda by Nigerian Govt Against Sheikh Zakzaky:

The penchant for lies and false propaganda by the Nigerian Information Minister, Lia Mohammed, is legendary. This is expected from a clueless government that woefully failed to record a single achievement in two years of existence. When President Buhari went for his 50+ days medical tourism to London, Mr. Lia Mohammed lied to Nigerians that “President Buhari is hale and healthy”. When the Minister of Information last week stated another compound lie that the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), His Eminence Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, does not have any Nigerian that want to be his neighbor, Nigerians were shocked.

The compound lie of Mr. Lia Mohammed prompted a prominent Nigerian activist, Dr. John Danfulani (a Christian) to conduct an online poll on his Twitter Handle with the question:”Who do you prefer as your neighbor?”. Two options were given, Alh Lia Mohammed and Sheikh Zakzaky. Sheikh Zakzaky resoundingly won with 73% of the total votes by Nigerians while the Information Minister got 27% votes.

In December 2015 President Buhari sent heavily-armed Soldiers to Zaria city in Northern Nigeria and they brutally slaughtered more than one thousand innocent Nigerian civilians and wickedly dumped their dead bodies in mass graves at night to bury the evidences. This monumental savagery and barbarism attracted international condemnation and Nigerians call for prosecution of the murderous criminals that perpetrated this inhumanity. For 553 Days today the Nigerian government has failed to prosecute a single person. Those the Nigerian government are holding in illegal detention and prosecuting are the lucky survivors with gunshot wounds and most of them had lost loved ones to this state-sponsored genocide by the Buhari administration.

The recent lies and false propaganda by the Nigerian Information Minister is part of the viscous and mischievous campaigns of calumny and demonization by the Nigerian government against Sheikh Zakzaky, Shia Islam, Iran and peaceful IMN. During the brutal and inhuman #ZariaMassacre of 1000+ innocent Nigerians, the Nigerian Army brutally murdered 3 children of Sheikh Zakzaky, killed his young Nephew, burnt his 70+ year old sister alive and destroyed all his residence and properties. Despite this peak of inhumanity and savagery, President Buhari is holding Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife in illegal detention incommunicado for more than 16 months despite an order by a competent court for them to be freed.

It was not the neighbors of Sheikh #Zakzaky that attacked his residence on 13th Dec, 2015, killed his 3 children & burnt his sister alive. It was President Buhari who sent the Nigerian Army to kill 3 children of Sheikh Zakzaky & burnt his sister alive. Sheikh Zakzaky has millions of followers who will be honored to be his neighbors. Millions of Nigerian Christians will also like to have him as neighbor. And millions of Sunni Muslims in Nigeria will be honored to have Sheikh #Zakzaky, epitome of Muslim unity at the world stage, as a neighbor. Unfortunately, Buhari’s Minister of Information thought that 180 million Nigerians are bloodthirsty Wahhabi savages, supporters of #ISIS.

Nigerians are asking this important question:”Why did President Buhari brutally slaughtered 1000+ Shia civilians & dumped bodies in mass graves at night? Nigerians are also asking President Buhari this question:”You brutally murdered 3 children of a Nigerian citizen & you are holding him in illegal detention for more than 16 months despite a court order to free him?

Only murderous criminals like the perpetrators of Zaria massacre will think they can butchered 1000+ civilians & get away with mass murder. They had done anything humanly possible to bury the inhuman massacre but woefully failed. The UN Human Rights Council just highlighted it last week in Geneva. After they brutally slaughtered 1000+ innocent Nigerians, they wickedly deprived the loved ones the burial of the victims. Kaduna state Governor dumped their dead bodies in mass graves at night to bury the evidences then quickly destroyed all the physical evidences of the massacre.

On a final note, heartfelt condolences to all the families of victims of the inhuman Zaria massacre once again. God give you the fortitude to bear our huge losses!

Harun Elbinawi
elbinawi@yahoo.com
Elbinawi.wordpress.com

Message to Sunni Muslims

Message to Sunni Muslims:

When murderous #ISIS terrorists invaded Iraqi city of Mosul, the Sunnis there celebrated but today ISIS is slaughtering the Sunnis.

#Sunnis should understand that there is no single benefit for supporting #ISIS, #AlQaeda, #BokoHaram. They will deceive you then kill you.

Murderous Wahhabi terrorism is valuable asset of evil Western imperialism & Global #Zionism to kill Muslims & distort the message of #Islam

Why did you see that the #US President @realDonaldTrump who hate #Islam & #Muslim but embraced #Wahhabism & the savage Saudi regime?

Sunni Muslims should #WakeUp & confront the challenge that murderous Wahhabi terrorism is an evil agenda to kill them & destroy #Islam.

Today the Savage Saudi regime is in bed with the biggest enemies of #Islam & Muslims. Saudi Arabia is the ATM machine of #US & #UK regimes.

One of the things arrogant West & their Wahhabi slaves hate & fear most is unity of Muslims. Unity bring strength, division bring weakness.

Any Muslim leader who promote unity of Muslims is targeted by arrogant West & their Wahhabi lackeys. This is why Sheikh Zakzaky is targeted.

Sunni #Muslims should completely reject murderous Wahhabi #terrorism & dislodge the evil infiltration of #Wahhabism to Sunni #Islam.

No decent #Muslim or human will be a puppet of the American savage @realDonaldTrump. An evil barbarian full of hate for #Islam & Muslims.

Today Saudi rulers are puppets of d American savage @realDonaldTrump & they publicly celebrated it recently.Saudi rulers disgrace 2 humanity

It is impossible for the Most Merciful God to send a religion to humanity that is intolerant & bloodthirsty. #Wahhabism is not #Islam.

What God sent to Prophet Muhammad (sa) was not murderous Wahhabism. God sent #Islam that has love, mercy, compassion & tolerance as pillars.

#Ramadan Mubarak 2 all Muslims. We pray that God destroy all manifestations of murderous Wahhabi terrorism & grant victory 2 world oppressed.

@Elbinawi Tweets

Questions & Answers with @Elbinawi on Murderous Wahhabi Terrorism

Questions & Answers with @Elbinawi on Murderous Wahhabi Terrorism:

Q. Who created #AlQaeda in Afghanistan?
A. US regime via Saudi Arabia.

Q. Who created #ISIS in #Syria?
A. US regime via Saudi Arabia.

Q. How many Muslims did Al-Qaeda & ISIS killed?
A. More than 600,000 Muslims killed.

Q. Why are Al-Qaeda & ISIS killing mostly Muslims?
A. That is the evil agenda of Western imperialism.

Q. Which ideology inspired Al-Qaeda & ISIS?
A. Wahhabism

Q. Who promote & propagate Wahhabism?
A. Saudi Arabia.

Q. How can humanity eliminate Al-Qaeda, ISIS, BokoHaram etc
A. Eliminate the Saudi regime & banned Wahhabism

Q. Who is backing & supporting Saudi Arabia?
A. Western imperialism & Global Zionism.

Q. Why are they backing Saudi Arabia?
A. To divide Muslims, kill Muslims, destroy Muslim towns and cities, rape Muslim women and girls, destroy Islam & loot Muslim resources.