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Human Rights group frowns at prison authorities over Metuh


…the humiliation of Chief Olisa Metuh who was brought to the Federal High Court Abuja in handcuffs and maltreated worse than high profile bloody terrorists.

A pro-Democracy Non-governmental organization – Human Rights Writers Association Of Nigeria (HURIWA) has rejected as spurious and an afterthought the half-baked reasons offered by the Authority of the Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS) over the humiliation of the National Publicity secretary of PDP Chief Olisa Metuh who was brought to the Federal High Court Abuja in handcuffs and maltreated worse than high profile bloody terrorists.

Following a groundswell of criticisms over this ill treatment meted out to the opposition politician, the Nigeria Prisons Service defended its action and said that putting handcuffs on the National Publicity Secretary, Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Olisa Metuh, while appearing for his trial at the Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday was at the discretion of the prison officer, who supervised his court appearance.

The NPS spokesman, Francis Enobore, said the officer in charge of the escort that took Metuh to court was at liberty to determine if the inmate should be handcuffed based on security situation, the environment and intelligence report made available to the officer.

HURIWA in a statement signed jointly by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, faulted the explanation and dismissed it as irrational and substantially unacceptable given the fact that from this same prison facilities several high profile terrorists masterminds have been brought to court during trial without handcuffs such as Mallam Kabiru Sokoto of the Madala Catholic Church bomb blast few years back which claimed over 100 lives. 

HURIWA therefore affirmed that the Minister in-charge of Prisons who is a very close political associate of President Muhammadu Buhari may have a hand in directing that the Spokesperson of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party Chief Olisa Metuh be humiliated for his several media attacks at the policies of President Muhammadu Buhari before his current travails. H

URIWA said it amounted to double standard and discrimination if Chief Olisa Metuh could be so maltreated because of his political beliefs and his Ethnic origins when other suspected felons are not so ill-treated.

The Rights group said the maltreatment of Chief Olisa Metuh was a calculated attempt to ridicule the opposition party even as it observed that the humiliation may have been choreographed from the top because on that same day the Secretary to the Government of the Federation hosted some renegades from PDP and told them that the current APC administration at the National level has only but one opposition which is called CORRUPTION.

“The current anti-graft crusade is akin to a political charade staged to mastermind the formation of a one party state. In as much as we reject corruption and calls for rule based and due process to punish corrupt officials and retrieve our humongous stolen financial assets we must at the same time not overlook the abuse of power and the politically tainted anti-graft fight going on in the name of fight against corruption “.

HURIWA has also called for the immediate disbandment of the administrative hierarchy of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for the inherent constitutional breach of the Federal Character principle because over 75 percent of those officers at the Directorate cadre are from the North Eastern State of Adamawa and are of one Ethnic nationality. 

HURIWA said the agency that fights corruption must itself be purged of administrative and hierarchical corruption and breach of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 (as amended).

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