Nigerian Law Student Writes An Open Letter To SARS And EFCC, The president of the Association of Anambra State Students in Nigeria and Diaspora, Genius Obinna has written an open letter to the operatives of the Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARZ) and the Economic financial Crimes Control (EFCC).
“Pursuant to section 39 of the Nigeria constitution which provides that “every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference”.
It heretofore behoves on me to express my wholehearted disappointment with the Nigeria police force, who is ranked as the worst in the world and has a record of extral judicial killings and human right abuses.
The Nigeria police force has a long history of engaging in unprofessional, corrupt and criminal conducts among which are extortion, embezzlement, unlawful search and seizure of property, threat, assaults, battery, unlawful detention, acts of violence, torture, extra-judicial killings, bribery and collection of money under the guise of bail.
Sequel to the aforegoing, it became explicitly evident when a group of special anti-robbery squad assaulted me along ife-ilesha expressway on the ground that I demanded for their warrant when they wanted to search my luggage and cellphone, I was assaulted beyond denial in a bid to express my fundamental human right and my freedom of expression according to the provision of the infallible constitution, having in mind, the situation of things in the country in which kidnappers have abducted many people on highway by impersonating the police and soldiers in their uniform and camouflage respectively.
It has reached the peak where the police known as the ‘friend of the masses’ has turned into the ‘enemy of the people’ and I resolutely call for the intervention of the federal government in truncating the excesses of the NPF by putting an end to this menace and vices.
In a bid to justify my submission, I will like to corroborate my claim with the popular case of *Alade V, the Federal Republic of Nigeria* where Sakiru Alade being the accused was detained and incarcerated in the kirikiri maximum security for more than nine years without being charged with a crime under any law before any court of competent jurisdiction.
In view of the aforegoing, the NPF denied Alade his right to personal liberty and presumption of innocence as provided by section 35 of the Nigeria constitution.
It suffices at this moment to confidently state that over 70 percent of Nigeria’s prison population consist of pretrial detainees, and nearly a quarter of them have been held for at least one year, which is totally against the habeas corpus act.
This further reflects the unhealthy state of our justice system.
And I hereby call on the federal government to find a lasting solution to this preponderant vices in our criminal justice system which has a tripod outlook which involves three cardinal institutions; the police, the courts and the prisons.
My petition would be futile if I fail to reprimand the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC) and the Department of State Service (DSS) for their incessant and apparent flouting of court orders and injuctions with their porpurted claim on having the national interest and security in mind. The Department of State service (DSS) disobeyed the initial order of the high court in releasing the leader of the shiite group in person of Ibrahim El-zakeezaky. Similarly, the federal government has failed in obeying the order of the court in releasing Dansuki who has been detained since 2015.
All these have proven beyond doubt that the judiciary known as the ‘last hope of the common man’ is no more effective in the country and that the supremacy of the constitution is nothing but a mere theoretical belief.
EFCC has proven to the general society to be politically bias and partial by raiding the houses of those who are not politically United with the ruling party, where houses of those accused of corruption amidst the ruling party are being left out all because the leadership of EFCC is based on political appointment hence can never dispense their stipulated functions without prejudice, fear, sentiment and political loyalty thus making them a dependent body as opposed to being an independent one.
Needless for me to express my despondent disappointment and disapproval in this regard.
I shall appreciate your swift, dynamic and positive disposition in this regard.