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SERAP to EFCC: Immediately and unconditionally release blogger Abubakar Usman

Source: pointblanknews.com
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Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to “immediately and

unconditionally release blogger Abubakar Usman who is detained simply for

exercising his constitutional and internationally recognised right to

freedom of expression.”
Mr Usman was arrested for alleged cyberstalking of the EFCC Chairman Mr.

Ibrahim Magu.
But in a statement today by SERAP executive director Adetokunbo Mumuni the

organisation said “This action by the EFCC is unequivocally contrary to

both section 39 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended) and

article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to

which Nigeria is a state party. The EFCC must now immediately and

unconditionally release Mr Usman and drop all charges against him.”

The statement reads in part: “Nigeria's constitution guarantees freedom of

expression. Under international law, everyone has the right to freedom of

expression, including freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and

ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or

in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.

SERAP believes that no one should be arrested simply for criticising

public institution or public figures.”
“The EFCC and indeed all public institutions should proactively encourage

freedom of expression to enhance their ability to fight corruption but

also to maintain the sanctity of the constitution and Nigeria's

international obligations and commitments. There are many whistle-blowers

out there that can be of immense support to anticorruption agencies and

contribute to the effective discharge of their statutory mandates to

prevent and combat corruption.”
“Nigerians should be allowed to talk freely without threats of arrest or

harm.”
“SERAP will be taking legal action to challenge the constitutionality of

the ludicrous Cyber Crime Act which is now being regularly used to

undermine the effective enjoyment of the right to freedom of expression in

Nigeria.”
“In 2011, the United Nations Human Rights Committee issued guidance to

states parties including Nigeria on their free speech obligations under

article 19 that emphasized the high value that the International Covenant

on Civil and Political Rights places upon uninhibited expression in

circumstances of public debate concerning public figures in the political

domain and public institutions.”
The post SERAP to EFCC: Immediately and unconditionally release blogger Abubakar Usman appeared first on Pointblank News .