Lai Mohammed, Keyamo under fire over remarks on #EndSARS report
From Okwe Obi and Ladejobi Taofeek, Abuja Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the Ministers of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, and the Labour and Productivity, Festus Keyamo, for discrediting the Lagos State #EndSARS report. While Mohammed described the report as ‘tales by moonlight, and fake news,’ […] The post Lai Mohammed, Keyamo under fire over remarks on #EndSARS report appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.
From Okwe Obi and Ladejobi Taofeek, Abuja
Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the Ministers of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, and the Labour and Productivity, Festus Keyamo, for discrediting the Lagos State #EndSARS report.
While Mohammed described the report as ‘tales by moonlight, and fake news,’ Keyamo, on the other hand, said the panel lacked the locus standi to probe the military, adding that the report ‘is illegal’.
But the National Coordinator of HURIWA Emmanuel Onwubiko, at a press briefing yesterday in Abuja, said the ministers, by virtue of their positions, abused the rule of law and encouraged human rights violation.
“We believe that part of the reason for insecurity is the ways and manners that some ministers are undermining the rule of law and are abusing their public offices by influencing the President not to confront human rights abusers in the Army and Police.
“This unconstitutional frame of mind showed in words and actions by President Muhammadu Buhari’s ministers is the reason we have seen large scale extrajudicial killings of citizens by soldiers in many parts of Nigeria including the burning town of a part of Oguta in Imo State and the one that just happened in AwoMmama in Imo State and indeed in many parts of the Country including the burning down of a house of a suspected member of IPOB in a part of Enugu with sporadic gunshots by the Army captured on video and these men in the viral video were seen speaking Hausa and saying they were sent to kill off the people. Meaning that some military commanders authorise ethnic genocide.
“The ministers of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed and that of State for Labour are the two principal officers of this government whose media appearances and comments are undermining the dispensation of justice especially the redress of the monumental human rights abuses by Army and Police as found out by the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on the #ENDSARS protests and the massacre at the Lekki Toll Gate on October 20th 2020.
“The Minister of Justice once wrote us saying armed herdsmen won’t be prosecuted since government has not built a case file.
“Now we have on our hands a situation whereby two ministers are speaking at cross purposes with President Muhammadu Buhari and this action is a grave threat to the national security interest of Nigeria.
“Lai Mohammed stridently claimed that there was no evidence of any massacre even when the panel reported otherwise and the minister of Labour is now saying that the panel is illegal.
“Where was Minister of State for Labour when the FEC ordered the constitution of these panels and the VP who is a better lawyer and was once Attorney General of the most populated State even inauguratedthe panel in Abuja or is known to have made many positive reassurances that these panels will lead to the lasting resolution of these human rights abuses?
“Where was the minister of State for Labour and why is he separating his office from what he has said which has defecated on the Constitution of Nigeria?
“Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, has described the panel the Lagos State Government set up to probe police brutality as illegal.
“The National Economic Council (NEC) had in the wake of violent EndSARS protests against police brutality of 2020, directed states to constitute Judicial Panels of Inquiry to investigate complaints against the Special Anti-Robbery Squads (SARS) and other police units.
“When he appeared on a live programme of Channels TV, Keyamo said the panel lacks the locus standi to probe the military and the police by virtue of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
“He added that only the Federal Government can investigate the military and police. This statement undermines the Rule of law and is a direct affront to the powers of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“These contradictions by these two ministers are directly detrimental to national security because what they stand to be saying is that extrajudicial killings of citizens should continue and that the effort made by the panels set up at the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari are of no moment meaning that they even rubbished the National Exco meeting and NEC meeting of the President and his cabinet which had authorised the setting up of these panels all across Nigeria.
“These two ministers are enemies of human rights and they constitute grave dangers to national security because President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration was right to have authorised the constitution of the #EndSARS protests panels of investigation in line with the constitutional powers of the President and the fact that the people of Nigeria are the owners of the sovereignty of Nigeria,” he added.
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