Rise In 'Vigilante' Justice Worrisome—Says HURIWA And Calls For Action By AGF

By Emmanuel Onwubiko
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By Emmanuel Onwubiko

8/12/2013 3:38:04 PM -

A democracy inclined Non-Governmental organization-HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS' ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has raised serious concern about what it calls the phenomenal rise in the use of jungle justice to settle scores all across Nigeria even as it has charged the nation's chief law officer Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN) to immediately take practical measures to stop the trend so as to save Nigeria from anarchy and the overwhelming regime of impunity.

In a statement issued jointly by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National media Director Miss. Zainab Yusuf, HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS' ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) specifically blamed the slow justice delivery mechanism in the country for the unprecedented rise in vigilante justice which is totally unconstitutional just as it postulated that urgent measures to remedy the anomaly must be found and enforced by Government if democracy is to continue to flourish in our clime.

HURIWA also supports the decision by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands to directly indict the armed Islamic terrorists in Northern Nigeria who are wrecking havoc and unleashing bloody violence, for crime against humanity because, according to the Rights group, the Nigerian court system is either too weak to deliver effective and decisive justice to armed terrorists arrested by law enforcement operatives, or that the Nigerian courts are too corrupt to discharge the constitutional duty of ensuring that mass killers don't get away with their atrocious criminal acts of genocide and violence against innocent Nigerians resulting so for in the death of over 5000 persons since 2009 that the insurgency began with grave intensity.

Citing the case of the mass killings by suspected armed terrorists since two years ago in Dogo Nahawa village, in Jos South local government, of Plateau State in which scores of innocent Nigerians including dozens of children and women were massacred without the Nigerian government successfully arresting, prosecuting or punishing the alleged perpetrators, HURIWA said that most Nigerians now embrace vigilante/mob/jungle justice as the best alternative since the people rightly or wrongly felt that government tolerates impunity. Government, HURIWA, said, must right this gross institutional wrong.

The Rights group therefore challenged the federal government to demonstrate to Nigerians that impunity is totally forbidden by ensuring that the wheel of justice runs smoothly and efficiently and also bring perpetrators of crimes to effective justice. HURIWA submitted that Nigerian state is under municipal and international legal obligation to bring perpetrators of violence to decisive justice or be prepared to face the International Crimes Court [ICC] which Nigeria signed on to. The Rights group therefore faulted the position taken by the Nigeria's Anglican Primate opposing the ICC's decision to indict Nigerian armed terrorists for crimes against humanity, since according to it, evidence abound to show that Nigerian state is yet to effectively deliver justice to these mass killers.

HURIWA stated thus; 'we hereby appeal to the minister of Justice and the federal Attorney General Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN) to set machinery in motion to effectively stamp out all traces and manifestations of impunity and vigilante justice by arresting; prosecuting in the competent court of law, all suspected mass murderers to send strong and unambiguous signal to the rest of Nigerians that the current President Goodluck Jonathan's administration completely abhors impunity and jungle justice because democracy may collapse imminently if these reckless dastardly criminal acts of mass killings are left unchecked and if vigilante justice is institutionally permitted.

The Rights group also think that the 'reform-minded' Chief Justice of Nigeria Mrs. Maryam Alooma Mukhtar has greater constitutional role to play by reining in all rogue judicial officials who are abusing their sacred role by delaying justice delivery even as the hierarchy of the nation's judiciary should show them the way out so as to sanitize the justice sector.

A black book of non-performing and compromised judges must be published in a national data for Nigerians and the members of the international community to see.

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