Civil Right Council condemns alleged state-sponsored repression

Civil Right Council, an arm of Social Action, Nigeria, on Monday expressed displeasure over the spate of indiscriminate arrest and detention of innocent Nigerians and the need to end State-sponsored repression in the country.

Vivian Bello, Head of Civil Rights Council (CRC) for Social Action Nigeria expressed the concern via a statement issued in Abuja over the recent arrest and detention of a Civil Right Activist, Chido Onumah.

Mrs Bello in a statement obtained by Tribune Online , who described Onumah’s arrest and detention as a breach of rule of law, called on President Muhammadu Buhari and authorities of Department of State Security (DSS) to charge Onumah to court for whatsoever offence he supposedly committed.

The statement read: “The news of the arrest of a foremost Civil Rights Activist and anti-corruption (Whistleblower) Campaigner, Chido Onumah, reached us with shock and depression.

“Coming at a time when the country is battling to extricate its image from the famous sic, ignoble categorisation of ‘shit hole Countries’, and assert itself within the ambit of civility, democracy and the rule of law, the reported abduction of Onumah by operatives of the Department of State Security at the Abuja International Airport on Sunday, 29th September, upon his return from a foreign trip, for no clear or stated offence(s), is yet another setback to the image of the country.

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“Chido Onumah is a most respected and dignified statesman of un-parallel passion, commitment and patriotism to the country, virtues that have both guided and driven his actions and conducts for over three decades and from which he has never side-stepped till date.

“The DSS has not been known to have extended any invitation to Onumah of which he refused to honour to warrant such action.

“By this latest act, the Nigerian State has once again raised the bar in the ignoble register and list of States with records of arbitrary arrests and state-sponsored repressions.

“This does not leave any good taste in the mouth of Nigerians nor help the image of the country in any way.

“We strongly call on President Muhammadu Buhari and the Department of State Security (DSS), to immediately release the Rights Activist and Statesman Chido Onumah, or charge him to court if the government has any perceived offence against him.

“We also further urge the D.S.S to refrain from intimidating innocent citizens and focus its energy and capacity on securing the confines of the country professionally and in line with the tenets of rule of law,” Mrs Bello urged.

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