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ECOWAS should drop Buhari as mediator over Jamme- HURIWA:

By Emmanuel Onwubiko
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A civil Rights group- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has asked the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to drop President Muhammad Buhari as the joint Chairman of the committee mediating over the political impasse in the Gambia.

The group said it smacks of unprecedented hypocrisy and political immorality for the regional group to have the President of Nigeria in that trouble shooting position when his administration is in violation of a binding judgment of the highest constitutional court in the region- the ECOWAS COURT OF JUSTICEwhich ordered the immediate freedom for the erstwhile National Security Adviser Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd).

Besides, the Rights group said President Buhari has persistently failed to respect the municipal Federal High Court of Nigeria which in its Abuja division made several binding orders granting bails to the Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Mr Nnamdi Kanu and the former National Security Adviser Colonel Sambo Dasuki who was even refused exit from the dungeon of the Department of State Services (DSS) to attend the funeral rites of his late father- the deposed Sultan of Sokoto Alhaji Dasuki who passed on recently.

In a media statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWAsaid it was ludicrous for President Buhari to accept to carry out a peace building job for a regional group that his administration had jettisoned an enforceable judicial decision an institution under it issued legitimately.

HURIWA averred thus : "The disrespect to binding order of ECOWAS court of Justice is a serious breach which mustn't be overlooked by the member States of the Economic Community of West African States. What moral high ground is President Buhari standing on to demand that the Gambian President obey his nation''s electoral law and quit office for the lawfully and democratically elected President elect of Gambia when his administration in Nigeria has rubbished the integrity of both the judicial institutions of Nigeria and the regional bloc?"

Besides, HURIWA has also called on ECOWAS to boldly ask President Buhari to respect the ruling of the ECOWAScourt because if the intransigent and defeated President of Gambia is to be persuaded to quit in accordance with democratic and global best practices it therefore follows that equity demands that President Buhari who is in breach of a subsisting judgment of the ECOWAScourt of Justice must be compelled under a threat of regional sanctions to comply with the decision of the ECOWAS court and release on bail the detained former National Security Adviser Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd).

HURIWA recalled that the Liberian President Mrs. Johnson Sirleaf, the acting head of the Joint Economic Community of West African States, African Union and United Nations (ECOWAS-AU-UN) team, said late on Tuesday that an agreement could take longer.

The ECOWAS team, made up of President Muhammadu Buhari, Johnson-Sirleaf, the Chairperson of ECOWAS, President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone, outgoing President John Mahama of Ghana, and Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, (UN Special Representative for West Africa), urged Jammeh to reconsider his rejection of the election results.

The team was insistent that Jammeh hand over power “within constitutional deadlines, and in accordance with electoral laws of The Gambia.”

HURIWA which said it supports the call for the Gambian leader to step aside, however said it was laughable that a man like President Buhari of Nigeria who is in gross breach of a binding judgment of ECOWAS court of Justice is now being presented as an enforcer of the democratic principles.

HURIWA reminded the regional body that not long ago the Economic Community of West African States Court of Justice declared the arrest and continued detention of the immediate past former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd), as unlawful, arbitrary and a violation of his right to liberty.

The court ordered that the former NSA be released from the custody of the Department of State Services, whose operatives re-arrested him shortly after he was released from Kuje Prison, Abuja on bail on December 29, 2015.

Dasuki, who was arrested for alleged economic crimes and other offences, was later granted bail by all three courts where he is currently facing charges relating to criminal diversion of funds meant for procurement of arms for fighting Boko Haram terrorists in the North-East.

But he had remained in the custody of the DSS since he was re-arrested at Kuje prison on December 29, 2015 upon being released after fulfilling the bail conditions granted by the courts.

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Emmanuel Onwubiko and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."