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HURIWA CONDEMNS POLICE INVASION OF NASS

By Emmanuel Onwubiko
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Vexed by the flagrant disregard of the principle of separation of power and in what it considers as the extreme case of abuse of power, the democracy inclined Non-Governmental Organization-HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA [HURIWA] has condemned the police invasion of the premises of the National Assembly and the attempt by use of crude and brute force to stop the speaker of the Federal House of Representatives Mr Aminu Waziri Tambuwal from accessing the National Assembly to attend a special session convoked to debate the proposed extension of the state of emergency in the North East of Nigeria.

HURIWA said it is illegal and indeed constitute high treason for the police chief to seek to unseat a lawfully elected speaker of the Federal House of Representatives in the most primitive of fashions without proper recourse to the court of competent jurisdiction. ''Those who attempt to scuttle democracy must be brought to justice to serve as deterrent for would be potential violators of the sanctity of our democratic precepts.''

In a statement to the media and signed jointly by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Ms Zainab Yusuf the Rights group said the forceful take over of the National Assembly complex by armed police operatives on the orders of the Inspector General of Police Mr Suleiman Abba to stop the Speaker from attending the session of the Federal House of Representatives which he convoked in his capacity as the Speaker amounted to a attempted Coup and must be treated as such even as the police chief must be made to face the judicial music for this unspeakable and despicable crime against democracy.

HURIWA has therefore recommended the arrest and prosecution of the Inspector General of Police for this brazen attempt to scuttle the current democratic dispensation through the use of subterfuge and unwarranted brute force to frustrate the convocation of the lawful session of the legislative arm of government at the national level. The Group has also called for a high powered judicial commission of inquiry to investigate the Inspector General of police to determine the remote and immediate reasons as to why he reportedly directed armed police operatives to deploy physical violence and other arms twisting tactics to undermine the functions and powers of the Federal legislature.

The Rights group said there was an immediate need for a transparent probe to be launched to determine whether the holder of the office of the Inspector General of police has compromised his high office and therefore is meticulously enforcing a set of undemocratic and unconstitutional measures to stop the lawful convocation of the Federal House of Representatives which ought to give consideration to the well considered prayers of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for the widening and extension of the state of emergency in the North East zone of the country afflicted by murderous terrorism by armed Islamic terrorists. ''Why is the Inspector General of Police attempting to stop the house of representatives from sitting to consider this all important request from the Presidency to resolve the biting violence by the blood cuddling murderous insurgents known as Islamic extremists? Is there a sinister nexus between the armed police invasion of the police operatives to the resistance of supporters and sympathisers of terrorism to the pending request of the Presidency to extend the state of emergency in the North East and seek to crush the violent rebellion in the North East? This undemocratic attack of the National Assembly by the armed police on the orders of the Inspector General of police is a serious threat to national security apart from constituting a grave threat to democracy and the rule of law. The Inspector General of police must be brought to book to account for this unwarranted abuse of power.''