Observation by Southern Kaduna’s People in Diaspora Association Europe (SOKAPDA Europe)
“Our humanity has been compromised by those who use Gestapo tactics in our war,
The longer we stand idly while they do so, the more we resemble those ‘good Germans’ who professed ignorance of their own Gestapo”
- Frank Rich
When Frank Rich made the above quote, the Germans were watching and saying nothing when Jews were being taken to the gas chambers.
We seem to have a situation in Nigeria in general,and Kaduna state in particular, where people are saying nothing when Journalists and others are being picked up at weekends and thrown in jail before any appearance in court the following Monday.
Killings in Southern Kaduna are being explained as either revenge attacks, reprisal attacks, or communal disputes.
This line of thinking is supported by Senator Shehu Sani when he said:
“One of the reasons that sustains the violence and bloodshed in Southern Kaduna is the academic rationalization of the despicable cruelties and atrocities. Each time the word revenge is emphasized after a bloodbath, the substance of terrorists committing massacre is blurred and buried”.
It is very difficult to comprehend situations where innocent lives are wasted almost every month. This has been going on for years; yet the powers that be keep explaining these as revenge attacks or descriptions of such nature.
Given this scenario, it will appear that any citizen that tries to draw the World’s attention to this narrative is picked up and locked up before being taken to court.
The general acceptable legal process is that if a Journalist or a citizen of the state commits a crime, this should be investigated by the police and if there is evidence that a crime has been committed, the person is then charged to court and it is only the court that has the power to sentence the person to detention or prison.
Obviously, there are exceptions as we have had situations where a person is pick up mostly on a weekend and locked up until Monday before being taken to court. It is obvious that this tactic is designed to deny the rights of the individual over the weekend.
This approach is only practiced in dictatorship regimes and not in a democratic society. We strongly advise the powers that be to follow due process.
Earlier incidents seem to support the view that this approach of picking people up at weekends is practiced to inflict maximum damage. This has been a tactic that the state has been deploying over the years.
For example, in 2017, Mr. Luka Binniyat, at the time a Journalist with Vanguard Newspaper, was arrested and sent to prison over a Southern Kaduna report. As a Journalist with the Vanguard, the state government focused on him rather than looked at the organisation that published the alleged story, since Mr. Binniyat was an agent of the Vanguard Newspaper. The least the state government could have done was to join Vanguard Newspaper in the suit, but this was not the case. One may conclude that this was a case of ‘selected prosecution’.
On 17 February 2017, Mr. Audu Maikori a Lawyer and CEO of Chocolate City Entertainment was arrested on a Friday in Lagos and taken to Force Headquarters in Abuja based on a detention order signed in Kaduna. The link here again is a weekend arrest.
On 8 May 2019, Mr. Stephen Kefas was arrested in Port Harcourt for re-posting an article on Facebookand transferred from Port Harcourt to Kaduna.
Many are of the view that his real crime was being critical of the Kaduna State Government.
In other words, many are of the opinion that his detention was either political or extra – judicial. The link again here is that the powers that be made sure that he was locked up before any chance to appear before a competent court.
On 4 November 2021, Mr. Luka Binniyat was again arrested by the police and refused bail.
Again, the alleged charge against him is an article (about the massacres in Southern Kaduna) that puts some individuals in power in the State in danger.
If this is the case, then Mr. Binniyat should have been investigated by the police, and if a case is established against him, he should then be charged to court and not arrested, locked up, and denied bail.
Again, the link in this case is the lack of due process in locking him up and denying bail; We are of the view that Mr. Binniyat is not a dangerous criminal.
As we write, it has been brought to our attention that 2 of the 66 worshipers abducted on Sunday,October 31,2021, at Emmanuel Baptist Church, Kakau Daji, Chikun LGA of Kaduna State have been killed by their captors.
We have also read in some of the daily newspapers that “The bandits opened fire on five of their victims on Saturday, 6 November 2021 and killed 2 while 3 others were seriously injured and are currently in the hospital”
Given the above scenario, we are surprised that this is not part of the major discussion in the scheme of things.
Some food for thoughts:
“Beware the abuse of power. Both by those we disagree with, as well as those we may agree with”
- Benjamin Carson
“Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power”
- James Madison
Long live federal republic of Nigeria
Long live people of Kaduna State
Long live men and women of good will.
Southern Kaduna’s People in Diaspora Association Europe (SOKAPDA Europe)
8 November 2021