Deputy Minority Leader in the Senate, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, has cried out that about 14 youths among his constituents are presently languishing in jail over alleged disagreement with the brother of Taraba State governor, Mr. Darius Ishaku.
Raising a motion of urgent matter of national importance via Orders 42 and 52 of the Senate rules, Bwacha, who represents Taraba South Senatorial District appealed for the intervention of his colleagues so that the youths could be released from detention.
He expressed concern over “the continuous abuse of human rights and violation of Nigerian citizens with impunity by some institutions from within our space of Taraba”, adding that “these are very visible institutions, individuals in the judiciary and of course in the police.”
According to him, the 14 youths from Taraba South senatorial district were on April 23 bundled out of their domain and taken to Jalingo, detained in police cell while all entreaties to get them on bail fell on deaf ears.
“The alleged offence though been made against them was said to be criminal answer of criminal force and mischief which actually was a quarrel between them or exchange of unpleasant words between them and a younger brother of my governor.
“The Nigerian Constitution demands in a matter of this nature, the suspect shall be charged to court within 24 hours, will be released on bail can be seen in section 35(4) and (5A) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
“In spite of the bail application served on the police on April 29 that was exactly 1 week after they were been detained,” Bwacha explained.
The motion was seconded by Senator Sabiu Abdullahi (APC Niger North) who said that the incident “ is quite unfortunate and shows that some people are using their privileges for their own selfish gains.”
He added that the situation has shown that Nigeria was not ready for state policing; even as he called for increased autonomy for state judiciary.
In his contribution, Senator Michael Bamidele (APC Ekiti Central) described the illegal “detention of 14 people in Taraba State as a national embarrassment that must be investigated.”
While urging his colleagues not to politicize the issue, Bamidele further described it “as a flagrant abuse of the constitution and laws of the land.”
Accordingly, the upper legislative chamber in its prayers, condemned the action of all parties involved in the alleged abuse, calling on the Ag. Inspector General, Alkali Baba Usman to direct the state Commissioner of Police to thoroughly investigate the matter and impose relevant sanctions.
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