The sack yesterday, 7th August 2018 of Retired Director Lawal Musa Daura as the Director General of Nigeria’s State Security Service (SSS) by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, not only marks the Fall of Humanity Crimes’ Suspect Number Two in the present central Government of Nigeria headed by Retired Major Gen Muhammadu Buhari and Law Professor Yemi Osinbajo, but also marks him out as latest entrant into the world list of personae non gratae or international pariah personalities.
For purpose of clarity, in global diplomacy or diplomatic circles, a persona non grata or pariah personality is a foreign person whose entering or remaining in a particular country outside his or her own is prohibited by that country’s government for his or her atrocious acts of local and international damnation perpetrated or conspired to perpetrate while serving as a public office holder or under non state actor circumstances as a key figure in criminal or rogue body corporate or armed opposition group.
It is recalled that the first victim to be unceremoniously kicked out of the present central Government of Nigeria as Humanity Crimes’ Suspect Number One is Retired Police Inspector General, Solomon Arase who was removed on 21st June 2016, after reported stiff resistance and maneuvers to remain as IGP contrary to Nigeria’s Civil Service Rules and above his mandatory 35years of service as a sworn police officer in Nigeria. At a point and for alleged purpose of being retained by the appointing authorities at Aso Rock, he was reported to have turned himself into an Abuja Road Joint Traffic Controller so as to impress the appointing authorities; all to no avail. Retired IGP Solomon Arase was consequently removed and replaced by present IGP, Ibrahim Kpotum Idris, who was then Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Operations or AIG-OPS.
It is further recalled that Retired SSS Director Lawal Musa Daura was unethically recalled from his service retirement by President Muhammadu Buhari on 2nd July 2015 and appointed the new DG of SSS against the Civil Service Rules of the Federation. Before his unethical appointment he was a top official and card-carrying member of the APC and head of its intelligence prior to 2015 general elections and since his appointment he has remained so till date. Lawal Musa Daura had served in the SSS and retired in 2013 as a “Director”, attaining mandatory age of 60; from where he was recalled unethically and made “DG” of SSS on 2nd July 2015.
Retired IGP Solomon Arase, on his part, joined the Nigeria Police Force in 1981 and was appointed Inspector Gen of Police in April 2015 after the removal of former IGP Suleiman Abba. Former IGP Solomon Arase became a Humanity Crimes’ Suspect Number One when as Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police, he engaged in reckless issuance of genocidal or murderous orders to his lieutenants particularly against constitutional expressions by unarmed and defenseless pro Biafra activists, leading to death of hundreds of them and maiming of hundreds of others. As at 21st June 2016 when Mr. Solomon Arase was removed as Nigeria’s IGP, no fewer than 250 unarmed and defenseless pro Biafra activists had been shot and killed with hundreds of others shot and terminally injured.
The peak of then IGP Arase’s shoot-at-sight orders was on 2nd December 2015 when he directed the Police AIGs and CPs in charge of Zone 5 (Benin) and Zone 9 (Umuahia) as well as State CPs of Delta, Anambra, Imo, Enugu, Ebonyi, Abia, Rivers and Awka Ibom to use “maximum force” to “quell” all forms of “unlawful gathering” particularly pro Biafra street protests organized by unarmed Indigenous Biafra Group and other nonviolent pro Biafra movements. The result of his murderous orders led to close range shooting and killing on 2nd December 2015 of no fewer than 15 defenseless protesters at the Onitsha Niger Bridge and its environs and injuring of scores of others.
Mr. Arase’s maximum orders were duplicated or replicated by the authorities of the Nigerian Army leading to close range shooting and killing by soldiers of 302 Artillery Regiment, Onitsha of no fewer than 13 defenseless jubilant pro Biafra activists on 17th December 2015 at the same Onitsha Niger Bridge and injuring of scores of others. The jubilant pro Biafra activists were shot and killed while jubilating and celebrating the Abuja Federal High Court order for unconditional release of Mr. Nnamdi Kanu over his detention by SSS beyond constitutional limits. The soldiers not only took the corpses of the slain victims away, but also dumped three of them four days later (21st December 2015) at the Onitsha General Hospital and disappeared with others till date.
The murderous soldiers under the command of then Col Issah Maigari Abdullahi (then Commandant of Onitsha 302 Army Regiment), later same evening of their atrocious act, invaded Multicare Hospital at past 8pm and abducted the terminally injured victims at their intensive care wards and dumped them inside their Barracks without medical care. Out of the terminally injured victims abducted and returned to the Hospital few minutes to the mid night on account of distress calls by the Chief Medical Director of the Hospital and local rights activists, four later died due to disruption by soldiers of their intensive medical treatments before their abduction.
As if the above regime atrocity fueled by Mr. Arase’s shoot-and-kill-at-sight orders was not enough, the same former IGP renewed his genocidal orders and in conjunction with Governor William Obiano of Anambra State, the Nigerian Army led by Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, SSS led by retired Director Lawal Musa Daura and other security agencies; mobilized all security agencies in the Southeast with military reinforcements from 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Enugu and cordoned off all entry and exit routes in Anambra and Delta States. The genocidal operation was carried out between late night of 29th and evening of 30th May 2016 during which widespread and indiscriminate shooting and killing at close range were visited against defenseless citizens found gathered in streets and roadsides in Nkpor, Obosi, Ogidi, Onitsha and Asaba areas of Anambra and Delta States.
The murderous operation consequently resulted in the mass death of no fewer than 140 unarmed and defenseless citizens; many of them members of pro Biafra movements and others who converged for the 2016 Biafra Heroes Day along Umuoji Road, Nkpor. Out of no fewer than 140 deaths, 110 were killed at Nkpor and its environs including Onitsha and Obosi, while no fewer than 30 got shot and killed in Asaba. Many of those killed in Asaba were dumped at the State’s Federal Medical Center (FMC) from where they were disposed of and criminally interred as “state property” on 26th June 2016 without the knowledge and consent of their families and associates.
Also, out of no fewer than 110 defenseless citizens shot and killed at Nkpor and its environs, at least 90 were criminally interred inside the Onitsha Military Cantonment cemetery on Wednesday, 1st June 2016 with the approval of the present Government of Anambra State and without knowledge and consent of their families and associates. Today, they constitute the bulk of victims of enforced disappearance or missing persons under the present central Government of Nigeria. No fewer than 150 defenseless citizens were also shot and terminally injured in the murderous exercise.
Former IGP Arase did not stop at that, his leadership of Nigeria Police Force, Government of Anambra State and the Nigerian Army also formed an alliance of falsehood, lying and misrepresenting facts with reckless abandon so as to mislead Nigerians and the international community and escape culpability over their genocidal involvement in the massacre of hundreds of unarmed and defenseless pro Biafra anniversary celebrants during at the 2016 Biafra Heroes Day.
As heads of Nigeria’s overt and covert police formations, the duo of retired IGP Solomon and retired Director Lawal Musa Daura, brazenly refused and failed to use or deploy non lethal crowd control or policing techniques and gadgets in the management of democratic expressions in Nigeria particularly the pro Biafra street protest and Heroes Day of December 2nd 2015 and 29th and 30th May 2016. Such crowd control techniques the duo refused and failed to use include: tear gas, rubber bullets, pepper spray, electric tasers, batons, whips, water cannons, long range acoustic devices, aerial surveillance, police dogs, etc; and they must be bodily aided or protected by body protective devices such as anti crowd helmets, face visors, body armor (i.e. vests, neck protectors, knee pads, etc), gas masks and anti crowd shields. Part of their abominable conducts, also, was the invasion in the dead of the night of the Catholic Church school classrooms at Nkpor, opening fire and killing scores of defenseless citizens in their post vigil sleep.
Under Lawal Musa Daura as Nigeria’s DG of SSS, hell has been let loose. Liberties have been chained and impaired and rule of law turned to shreds. Flimsily accused citizens have been abducted, detained and tortured for six months, one year, two years and above without court trial and conviction. The Constitution in Section 35 (4) stipulates for detention of citizens for minimum of 24hrs and maximum of two months (depending on penalty of alleged crimes), yet under Lawal Musa Daura as DG of SSS, abducted and arrested citizens including those accused of being in conflict with non capital offences are indiscriminately detained far more than constitutional limits; a replica of inglorious epoch of Decrees Nos. 2 and 4 of 1984.
Conspiratorially and abominably, citizens abducted or arrested and detained by SSS far beyond the constitutional limits are allowed by courts, prosecuting and defense lawyers and government including AGF and State AGs to be arraigned in courts two years after they were abducted or arrested and detained. Several instances abound. Sacred rights to family and privacy have also been desecrated and broken by Lawal Musa Daura’s era as DG of SSS. Sheik Zaky El-Zaky and his beloved wife Zeenatu have remained in the underground cell of the Service since December 14th 2015, despite being shot at severally by soldiers who also shot and killed their children and the Sheik’s sister in their presence.
Scores of journalists including Jones Abiri of the Weekly Source Magazine (detained for nearly two years without trial) have been arrested, tortured and held in permanent captivity of SSS without court trial and conviction. The likes of Bright Chimezie Isinwa of the Indigenous Biafra People was also abducted by SSS under Lawal Musa Daura and held incommunicado for a year and seven months without trial. A number of citizens have had their whereabouts unknown till date after their abduction by SSS. This is not to talk of late night invasion of the sleeping abodes of serving High Court Judges and Justices of Supreme Court and Court of Appeal including the Service’s Gestapo operation of 2016. Instances are too numerous to be mentioned.
The sack of Lawal Musa Daura as Nigeria’s secret police chief comes seven days after we dedicated our tenth birthday message to victims of crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide in Nigeria. We had in the special message cautioned the public office holders holding elective and appointive positions to always remember that their positions can never last forever and also to the effect that political power is transient and that absolute power corrupts absolutely with eternal damnation, repercussion and punishment.
In the case of Retired IGP Solomon Arase, it took technical expertise to locate him in his new house in not-yet-fully developed area of Abuja where he was served court papers in 2017 in the pending case: John & Jane Does 1-10 v. Buratai, Lawal Daura & 14 ors – a civil claimant suit before the US District Court for the District of Columbia. Apart from the sixteen humanity crimes’ suspects sued in their names in USA, more suspects involved in the Army Python Dance 11 in Abia State in September 2017 where no fewer than 150 defenseless citizens were shot and killed and over 130 others shot and maimed, will soon be made public.
As newest entrant into the world list of personae non gratae or international pariah personalities, the international community and apostles of justice and lovers of human rights all over the world are called upon to take diplomatic, advocacy and justice notice of the post service or career activities and movements including diplomatic engagements, recognitions, rights and privileges, consultancies, holidays and businesses of the duo within and beyond the borders of Nigeria. Just as the wife of jailed Charles Taylor was arrested in 2017 in UK by Met Police for four count charge of rape during Liberian Civil War, the duo can also be arrested for crimes against humanity if found anywhere in the western world and other developed democracies or economies.
It must be clearly pointed out here that we have nothing against the persons of the duo as private citizens or persons but have strong issues with them concerning their despicable conducts particularly direct, vicarious and conspiratorial perpetration of humanity crimes while serving as Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police and Director General of SSS.
We also call on all apostles of justice and lovers of human rights around the world to shortlist the names of the duo and others on the line for their inclusion in national, regional and international civil and criminal suits over their involvement in crimes against humanity in Nigeria using the instrumentalities of universal, passive personality, active personality, permanent criminal court and municipal jurisdictions. Those who recklessly and rapaciously ordered and supervised or facilitated the mass killing and maiming of groups of unarmed and defenseless citizens while in office must not be given a breathing space to escape culpability and justice.
We shall at all times individually and collectively pursue and insist on: justice for victims whose lives have been terminated or liberties impaired; justice for the perpetrators who perpetrated the atrocities with impunity and walk free in the streets of Nigeria; and justice for the society that have its moral values impaired and herself desecrated.
For: Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman
Mobile Line: +2348174090052
Obianuju Joy Igboeli, Esq.
Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Program