The Conference of Nigeria Parties (CNPP) and a coalition of civil society groups under their umbrella association, the Coalition Of National Civil Society Organisations (CNCSOs), on Monday urged President Bola Tinubu to prove to Nigerians that he is, “indeed, a democrat by ending the All Progressives Congress (APC) invented script of detention without trial, using bogus allegations to keep suspected political enemies in detention indefinitely.”
CNPP and civil society organisations also called on Tinubu “not to give Godwin Emefiele, the detained suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Col. Sambo Dasuki treatment by former President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
This was disclosed in a statement jointly signed by the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the CNPP, Comrade James Ezema, and the National Secretary of the CSOs, Alhaji Ali Abacha.
They insisted that playing the same APC card against Emefiele would clearly portray Tinubu in bad light after he pledged to uphold the rule of law in his June 12 message to Nigerians.
They noted that “detaining the suspended CBN Governor for over a month without trial, only to charge him for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition at a time the Court has already ordered his release is totally against the principles of the rule of law, fairness, and justice that Mr. President has preached since May 29.
“The charges against Emefiele followed the same old tricks of the APC government, which were invented in 2015, to detain citizens without trial.
“Recall that Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), the former National Security Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan, was arrested in 2015 and the APC government charged with offences bordering on illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.
“Sambo Dasuki was detained without trial, and in September 2015, when the court granted him bail after he was arraigned on an alleged crime, the APC government rejected his bail.
“Just like in the Godwin Emefiele case, the DSS had claimed that it had on July 6, 2015, found in Dasuki’s Asokoro residence in Abuja five Tavor assault rifles, one macro Uzi with serial number 60244 (rifle), 20 magazines (ammunitions), and one packet of MOD (Ministry of Defence) AP9 calibre gun 9mm Luger with no: 033373, among other items.
“The APC government in April 2017 re-arraigned Dasuki for stealing $2 billion and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition all in the bid to continue to keep the former NSA in DSS custody.
“Such draconian inventions, including refusal to obey valid court orders, have been found to be politically motivated and created to incarcerate perceived political enemies indefinitely.
“If President Tinubu is truly a democrat, as he has continued to preach, his government must not adopt the APC’s eight-year-old brutal actions against suspected political enemies.
“We have watched with dismay how the Tinubu administration has been testing the undemocratic and anti-rule of law inventions of clamping individuals into the DSS dungeons without trial.
“For instance, the case of Godwin Emefiele and that of the suspended Chairman of the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, are bad records of detention without trial that any democratic President should be remembered for,” the statement read.