Nigerian Human Rights Lawyer, Keyamo Writes President, Demands Removal of Police Boss
A Nigeria human rights lawyer, Festus Keyamo
London, Jan. 19, 2018 (AltAfrika)-A Nigeria human rights lawyer, Festus Keyamo has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris alleging him of using the Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) and Special Tactical Squad (STS), to punish his clients.
Keyamo made the call and allegation in a letter he wrote to the President on Monday.
In the said letter, he wrote: “On January 1 this year, SARS operatives invaded the Anambra residence of the Elombah brothers who run elombah.com, an online platform and arrested them.
Accordong to him, the publisher was released, but told not to leave Abuja, while his brother has been in custody since then.
“There are reports that they were arrested over an article which Idris found to be “unfavourable”, he said.
Keyamo also said the IGP has displayed “personal vendetta” against the bloggers.
The letter dated 15the of January, 2018 reads inter alia, ” Your Excellency, it is shocking and alarming, to say the least, that the Inspector-General of police deployed the officers and men of special police squads like SARS and STS, which are established to fight serious and violent crimes, to settle a purely private grievance with online journalists.
“If at all an offence was committed by the said published article (which is not conceded), a simple civil invitation to our clients would have sufficed. But to use such strong-arm tactics to reign in our clients was a gross abuse of his office and an employment of stone age tactics in pursuing his personal grievance.
“Your excellency, such practices should be clearly unacceptable under your watch. A situation where your appointees ride roughshod over innocent citizens or use the positions to which you appointed them to settle personal scores should, ordinarily, rankle you and cause you to intervene.
“It should be more so as the substance of the matter has to do with the criticism of the personal life of a public officer by the fourth estate of the realm, a practice that has come to be recognized as one of the components of a thriving democracy.
“If a public officer cannot tolerate or stomach harsh criticisms, he has no business occupying public office. It is in the light of the above we urge you to use your good offices to order an investigation into this crass display of power and indiscretion by the inspector-general of police”.