from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – POLITICAL parties and civil society organisations doubt the pledge by new president, Bola Tinubu, to the rule of law in Nigeria.
This follows the lengthy detention, without trial, of the country’s suspended central bank chief and the head of the anti-corruption agency.
Godwin Emefiele, Central Bank of Nigeria governor, and Abdulrasheed Bawa, Chairman of Economic And Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), were suspended and arrested after Tinubu came to power in the wake of the disputed February 25 polls.
The Department of State Services (DSS) arrested both men.
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), bemoaned the arrests and detention.
“We have watched with dismay how the Tinubu administration has been testing the undemocratic and anti-rule of law inventions clamping individuals into the DSS dungeons without trial,” they stated.
“For instance, the case of Godwin Emefiele and that of the suspended Chairman of EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa, are bad records of detention without trial any democratic President should be remembered for.”
According to a statement jointly signed by the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the CNPP, James Ezema, and the National Secretary of the CSOs, Alhaji Ali Abacha, “playing the same APC card against Emefiele will clearly portray the President in bad light after pledging to uphold the rule of law in his June 12 message to Nigerians.”
“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 All Progressives Congress (APC)- led government is accused of detaining, without trial, members of the former ruling party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
However, critics accuse Tinubu of targeting members of his APC that are aligned to his predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari.
“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,” Ezema and Abacha stated.
– CAJ News