Monday 22nd May, 2017
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Rivers rerun: Lawyers storm US, UK embassies over DSS detention of colleagues

Rivers rerun: Lawyers storm US, UK embassies over DSS detention of colleagues

Human rights law­yers and pro-de­mocracy groups on Monday protested at the British High Com­mission, the United States (US) embassy, and National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) the alleged detention of some of their members by the Department of State Services (DSS).
In separate petitions to the embassies, the lawyers accused the Federal Government of deliberately attempting to gag the opposition in Nigeria.
In a copy of the peti­tion made available to The AUTHORITY, the group called for the “im­mediate investigation of all those who incited violence during the run up to the rerun elections in Rivers State including Chief John Odigie-Oye­gun, the chairman of the All Progressives Con­gress (APC), Governor Umar Ganduje of Kano State and the Minister of Transportation, Chi­buike Rotimi Amaechi.”
The lawyers added that their “inflammatory comments heightened tension and created a veritable ground for vio­lence to fester and re­motely led to the deaths of DSP Mohammed Al­kali, his orderly and all other citizens who lost their lives in the Rivers’ rerun election.”
On December 22, 2016, the lawyers wrote letters to inform the police of a planned protest march to raise alarm on the imminent threat to Nigeria’s de­mocracy and the “ig­noble” role of security agencies in the Rivers’ rerun election by se­curity agencies which they alleged “are being covered by the estab­lishment.”
Narrating the group’s ordeal in the hands of security agencies, the lawyers said that, “at about 2:00am on the day of the protest, officers of the DSS stormed the law of­fice of our member at Suite B29, Shakir Plaza, Area 11, Garki, Abuja, ransacked it, carted away case files, laptops, phones, all materials for the rally includ­ing the Nigerian flags, posters and banners, all documents in the office and also arrested four members who are still in detention till date and have not been charged to court for any offences.”

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