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Shoot To Kill-: Why Army Must Never Obey Buhari - Huriwa

By Human Rights Writers Association Of Nigeria (Huriwa)
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A prominent Non Governmental organisation- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has urged the top hierarchy of the military to be wary of falling foul of international crimes court's binding injunctions against committing crimes against humanity by carrying out a totally unlawful order of (President) candidate Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to shoot at sight suspected snatchers of the ballot boxes in the general elections scheduled to come up soon.

HURIWA said Buhari can't validly exercise the powers of the commander-in-chief in line with section 217(1) of the grundnorm and subsequent provisions on the operational modalities of the Armed forces during this election in the absence of a valid supporting legislation by the National Assembly besides the fact that he is also a candidate in the election and therefore would be committing high treason punishable under both municipal and global crimes' laws should he authorize the unlawful deploymemt of lethal weapons extralegally during the conduct of an election in which he is one of the over 70 contestants. HURIWA also reminded the military heads that they will inevitably be arrested in Europe, America or any other jurisdictions and flown into the ICC for prosecution should any Nigerian citizen be killed extralegally based on the jaundiced and politically toxic but all together unconstitutional shoot-at-sight order.

HURIWA reminded the military hierarchy that their loyalty for now and during the periods of the elections is to the people of Nigeria and the Constitutiom of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and not to either the All Progressives Congress, Peoples Democratic party or the holder of the office of President who is to be treated as equal contestant at the polls and is therefore not permitted by electoral Act and the Constitution to resort to the use of self help measures such as giving far reaching directives to the Nigerian Army to kill suspected electoral offenders even when both the extant electoral Act and section 33(1) of the Nigerian constitution makes it illegal for extra judicial execution to be deployed against offenders who in any event are presumed innocent by the Constitution (36 subsection5) until a valid decision of a court of competent jurisdiction recognised and empowered by section 6 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria determines otherwise. HURIWA reminds military heads that the constitution is valid and sacrosanct and supersedes any kind of order that violates a clearly written provisions of the law.

HURIWA said it is obliged to remind the Nigerian Army of the Rome statute setting up global crimes court in The Hague Netherlands to prosecute war crimes against humanity and extralegal killings such as the one the current Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress has asked verbally for the military to commit acts of crimes against humanity.

HURIWA recalled that Buhari stated, “I do not expect anybody to cause any disturbance. The security agencies have identified hot spots and flashpoints and should be prepared to move. We have made as much arrangement as possible for them as much as the country can afford.

“Anybody who decides to snatch ballot boxes or leads thugs to disturb the process, maybe that will be the last unlawful action you will take.

“We have directed the military and other security agents to be ruthless. We are not going to be blamed that we want to rig elections.”

The President added, “I want Nigerians to be respected and let them vote whoever they want across the parties. I am not afraid of that. I went round the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory and I think I have enough support across the country to vote for me.

“So, I want to warn anybody who thinks he has enough influence in his locality to lead a body of thugs to snatch ballot boxes or disturb the voting system, he will do it at the expense of his own life.”

He recalled that INEC had all the resources and time to plan for the polls, hence the postponement was altogether unnecessary.

“Definitely, the reason why such incompetence manifested has to be explained to the nation. After the elections, we have to know exactly what happened and who is responsible.

“Otherwise, our efforts to make sure that this system is acceptable would have been eroded. The constitution and the law protected INEC. But they must not take us for granted,” Buhari said.

He added, “If for example, the National Assembly refused to approve what they wanted, INEC would have had moral reasons why they couldn’t perform. If the time of four years of election was not constitutionally obeyed, the government and INEC would have a case.

“But we don’t understand the reason for this inefficiency and we have to go into details after the election to find out who is responsible.”

HURIWA has therefore challenged the military to refuse to obey unlawful orders and to know that there is life after office in which case they could be arrested and prosecuted at the ICC. "We are doing this caution as good friends of the military institution. We pray that God in His infinite goodness will imbued in the military chiefs the wisdom to refuse to carry out this unlawful order to shoot to kill suspected ballot box snatchers".

HURIWA has therefore asked Nigerians who are aware of any such killings during the elections to call 07040303030.