The United States Department of State has released what it termed evidence of impunity in the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Nigerian government.
The State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, in its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2018, said that Nigeria under Buhari, had made little progress in efforts to limit corruption in its public service.
The US Congress makes it mandatory for the executive to produce a report on the state of human rights worldwide every year.
For Nigeria, the findings in the 2018 Human Rights Report, obtained by ThisDay, were largely similar to those of the previous year’s report.
The report added that “Although the law provides criminal penalties for conviction of official corruption, the government did not implement the law effectively, and officials frequently engaged in corrupt practices with impunity.
“Massive, widespread, and pervasive corruption affected all levels of government and the security services. There were numerous reports of government corruption during the year.
“The EFCC writ extends only to financial and economic crimes. The ICPC secured 14 convictions during the year. In 2016 the EFCC had 66 corruption cases pending in court, had secured 13 convictions during the year, and had 598 open investigations.
“Although ICPC and EFCC anti-corruption efforts remained largely focused on low and mid-level government officials, following the 2015 presidential election, both organisations started investigations into and brought indictments against various active and former high-level government officials. Many of these cases were pending in court.
“According to both ICPC and EFCC, the delays were the result of a lack of judges and the widespread practice of filing for and granting multiple adjournments.
“EFCC arrests and indictments of politicians continued throughout the year, implicating a significant number of opposition political figures and leading to allegations of partisan motivations on the part of the EFCC.
“In October the EFCC arrested and indicted former governor of Ekiti State Ayo Fayose on 11 counts, including conspiracy and money laundering amounting to 2.2 billion naira ($6 million). After a Federal High Court ruling, Fayose was out on 50 million naira ($137,500) bail.”
On financial disclosure, the report stated the constitutional requirement under the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act (CCBTA) for public officials, including the president, vice president, governors, deputy governors, cabinet ministers, and legislators (at both federal and state levels), to declare their assets to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) before assuming and after leaving office. The constitution calls for the CCB to “make declarations available for inspection by any citizen of the country on such terms and conditions as the National Assembly may prescribe.
“The law does not address the publication of asset information. Violators risk prosecution, but cases rarely reached conclusion.
“There were several reports the government or its agents committed arbitrary and unlawful killings. The national police, army, and other security services used lethal and excessive force to disperse protesters and apprehend criminals and suspects and committed other extrajudicial killings.
“Authorities generally did not hold police, military, or other security force personnel accountable for the use of excessive or deadly force or for the deaths of persons in custody.
“State and federal panels of inquiry investigating suspicious deaths generally did not make their findings public.
“In August 2017 the acting president convened a civilian-led presidential investigative panel to review compliance of the armed forces with human rights obligations and rules of engagement, and the panel submitted its findings in February. As of November, no portions of the report had been made public.
“As of September there were no reports of the federal government further investigating or holding individuals accountable for the 2015 killing and subsequent mass burial of members of the Shia group, Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), and other civilians by Nigerian Army (NA) forces in Zaria, Kaduna State. “
The report disclosed that the 2016 nonbinding report of the Kaduna State government’s judicial commission, which found that the Nigerian Army (NA) used “excessive and disproportionate” force during the 2015 altercations in which 348 members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) and one soldier died.
It said, “The commission recommended the federal government conduct an independent investigation and prosecute anyone found to have acted unlawfully. It also called for the proscription of the IMN and the monitoring of its members and their activities.
“In 2016 the government of Kaduna State published a white paper that included acceptance of the commission’s recommendation to investigate and prosecute allegations of excessive and disproportionate use of force by the NA.
“As of September, however, there was no indication that authorities had held any members of the NA accountable for the events in Zaria. It also accepted the recommendation to hold IMN leader Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky responsible for all illegal acts committed by IMN members during the altercations and in the preceding 30 years. In 2016 a federal court declared the continued detention without charge of Zakzaky and his wife illegal and unconstitutional.
“The court ordered their release by January 2017. The federal government did not comply with this order, and Zakzaky, his spouse, and other IMN members remained in detention. In April the Kaduna State government charged Zakzaky in state court with multiple felonies stemming from the death of the soldier at Zaria.
“The charges include culpable homicide, which can carry the death penalty. As of December the case was pending. In July a Kaduna High Court dismissed charges of aiding and abetting culpable homicide against more than 80 IMN members. As of September the Kaduna State government had appealed the ruling. Approximately 100 additional IMN members remained in detention.
“In October security forces killed 45 IMN members that were participating in processions and protests, according to Amnesty International (AI).”
The report recalled the January 2017 bombing of an informal internally displaced persons (IDPs) settlement in Rann, Borno State, by the Nigerian Air Force, which resulted in the killing and injuring of more than 100 civilians and aid workers.
It said, “The government and military leaders publicly assumed responsibility for the strike and launched an investigation. The air force conducted its own internal investigation, but as of December the government had not made public its findings. No air force or army personnel were known to have been held accountable for their roles in the event. There were reports of arbitrary and unlawful killings related to internal conflicts in the North-east and other areas.”
The report also identified the following human rights issues in Nigeria: “unlawful and arbitrary killings by both government and non-state actors; forced disappearances by both government and non-state actors; torture by both government and non-state actors; and prolonged arbitrary detention in life-threatening conditions, particularly, in government detention facilities. Others are harsh and life threatening prison conditions, including civilian detentions in military facilities, often based on flimsy or no evidence; infringement on citizens’ privacy rights; criminal libel; substantial interference with the rights of peaceful assembly and freedom of association, in particular for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons; and refoulement of refugees.”
The report also identified as human rights abuse corruption; progress to formally separate child soldiers previously associated with the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF); lack of accountability concerning violence against women, including female genital mutilation/cutting, in part due to government inaction/negligence; trafficking in persons, including sexual exploitation and abuse by security officials; crimes involving violence targeting LGBTI persons and the criminalisation of status and same-sex sexual conduct based on sexual orientation and gender identity; and forced and bonded labour.
The report, however, noted that “the government took steps to investigate alleged abuses but took fewer steps to prosecute officials who committed violations, whether in the security forces or elsewhere in the government.
“Impunity remained widespread at all levels of government.
“The government did not adequately investigate or prosecute most of the major outstanding allegations of human rights violations by the security forces or the majority of cases of police or military extortion or other abuse of power,” the report added.
Source: Daily Post
Buhari challenges Atiku To Provide evidence that he defeated him in presidential election
The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and winner of the February 2019 election, Muhammadu Buhari, has faulted claim by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar that they won the election.
President Buhari told the Presidential Election Tribunal that, by the result announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, he (Buhari) and his party, were victorious in the last election.
The APC candidate also told the Tribunal that the claim by Atiku and the PDP that the tradermoni policy of the government was a vote-buying measure was not true.
According to Buhari, the policy formed one of the many social intervention policies his government had put in place, directed at alleviating the suffering of the masses.
Buhari asked the Tribunal to ignore the claim by the petitioners that they won by results they obtained from a purported INEC server because it lacked legal basis.
Buhari further challenged Atiku and PDP to show evidence that their votes were depleted and manipulated.
This was contained in a preliminary objection filed by his group of lawyers in response to Atiku’s petition.
President Buhari also faulted the petitioners’ allegations of vote manipulation made against some security personnel, some named private individuals and organisations, without making them parties to the petition.
Buhari asked the Tribunal to throw aside Atiku, PDP’s petition on the grounds that the reliefs sought by the petitioners were frivolous.
He added that “The entire reliefs are not justifiable, as the petitioners, who claim to have scored majority of lawful votes insubstantial number of states, are also questioning their own return in those states.
“The petitioners cannot act as petitioners and respondents in the same petition.
“The alternative relief sought is self-defeating, apart from being frivolous.
“The election to the office of President on 23rd F February, 2019, was conducted in substantial compliance with the provision of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended),” he said.
Buhari, challenged the petitioners to produce “specifics of website: www.factsdontlien .com, including its domain owner, proprietor, lessee, lessor; etc., pleaded in paragraph 29 of the petition.
“Details of the electronic data on the servers of the 1st respondent (INEC), including the time, the details were downloaded, the person who downloaded them and the means of downloading (paragraph 29 of the petition).
“The documents from the 1st respondent, publishing the registered voters in Nigeria, as 84, 004, 084 and the number of PVCs collected as 72,775,502 (paragraph 30 of the petition).
“Details and documents, showing a breakdown of the electronically collated votes of 664, 659, allegedly cast for the petitioners in Abia State (paragraph 34 of the petition).
“Documents showing the published registered voters in Bauchi State, as pleaded in paragraph 41 of the petition.
“Details of the electronically collated 332,618 votes in Bayelsa State (paragraph 42).
“Documents showing how petitioners’ votes were depleted by 173,153, in Benue State (paragraph 44).
“Details of how petitioners’ votes were depleted by 210,109 in Bomo State (paragraph 46 of the petition).”
Source: Daily post
PDP tells Buhari to Submit his WAEC certificate to tribunal, as Keyamo speaks on qualification
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has reacted to claim by the spokesman for the All Progressives Congress, APC, campaign Council, Festus Keyamo that one does not need a WAEC certificate to become President of Nigeria.
According to him, if you have occupied the public office for a reasonable length of time, you do not need a WAEC certificate to become president of Nigeria.
However, reacting, PDP in a statement on Monday by its spokesman Kola Ologbondiyan called on President Muhammadu Buhari to tender his West African Examination Certificate (WAEC) to the presidential election petition’s tribunal.
The main opposition party also called on Nigerians to note that by claiming that an aspirant does not need WAEC certificate, but the ability to speak English, to contest for the office of the President, the Buhari Presidency, through Festus Keyamo, had finally admitted that President Buhari does not have a WAEC certificate as he claimed in his INEC documentation.
The PDP, therefore warmed APC campaign spokesperson, Festus Keyamo, to stop “insulting” the sensibility of Nigerians .
The statement read in part “An attempt to deceive the public using a defective reading and skewed interpretation of a section of the constitution cannot exonerate President Buhari.
“Moreover, Section 295 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) is very clear on issues of interpretations and reference to questions of law.
“The PDP, therefore, maintains that the onus is on President Buhari, as ‘Mr. Integrity’ to tender the certificate he claims to possess before the tribunal instead of this lame diversion from Presidential aides
“It’s completely inexcusable for President Buhari to swear to an affidavit to claim an educational qualification he did not possess.”
Source: Daily post
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