From Okwe Obi, Abuja
The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG), has written to the United States Embassy in Nigeria, demanding fairness in a case between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari.
The group said it did not deny the FBI or any other police organisation from conducting a thorough investigation, but stated that it was worried by the “trajectory surrounding Kyari’s case.”
Kyari was accused by the FBI of doing the biddings of Ramon Abbas otherwise known as Huspuppi particularly for arresting and torturing one Vincent Chibuzor.
But CNG’s Spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, in a statement yesterday, claimed that there could be a number of “fundamental procedural lapses in the conduct of the investigation which tend not only to threaten the sovereign status of Nigeria, but also infringe on its citizen’s rights and civil liberties; threatens the rule of law and confronts the humanity and civilization that the people United States of America stands for.”
Suleiman noted that the FBI, an acclaimed American security agency, might invariably have breached the standard legal and diplomatic practice by neglecting to contact either the Nigerian High Commission in the US or the Nigerian authorities through the FBI liaison offices based in Nigeria before going ahead to file for indictment of a top Nigerian Security Officer.
He said’ We also note that the FBI might have breached another fundamental criminal justice procedure by not according Mr Kyari the benefit of being heard before going ahead with the purported indictment by an American Court in the US for an offence purportedly committed in Nigeria, triable under Nigerian laws, by Nigerian courts and on Nigerian land.
“A breach of decorum and negligence of procedure might have also occurred when the FBI hurriedly published the purported indictment online without first intimating the Nigerian authorities and hearing the accused’s case.”
He cited Articles 6 and 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Right, Section 36(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights which affirm that everyone charged with a penal offence “has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.”
While reminding the United States that its bilateral friendship with Nigeria is guided by the principles of sovereignty, promotion of peace and the standards that guides legitimate interference, he warned that their intervention, exclamations and actions should not be drawn to discountenance the right of the Nigerian state to protect the legal rights of its citizens.
“Let it also be clear that there is a mounting public concern that the action of the FBI could suggest that the US might wilfully be participating in Nigeria’s current political chase game and playing the card of the gangup of regional and ethnic propagandists against northern interests.
“It is therefore important that our friends in the US understand what a distabilised Nigeria will mean to the entire sub-Saharan region.
“As the most populous country on the continent and one that continuous to influence peace and stability across the sub-continent, any breakdown of law and order will further make dangerous the situation in terms of regional security, international cohesion, migration and other challenges that will affect Africa and beyond.”
According to him, “the CNG is recommitted itself to a just, fair and democratic global community where every citizen will be free to exercise his or her constitutional rights while respecting the rights and dignity of others.
“We are also committed to engaging with our international friends and partners based on mutual respect, harmony, international order, the principles of sovereignty.”