The Foundation for Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Crusade (FHRACC), a Niger Delta-based rights group, has said that the recent Amnesty International (AI) report over the existence of secret detention centres being operated by the federal government has vindicated its stand that such places indeed exist in parts of the country.
Barrister Alaowei Cleric, FHRACC National President, in a statement on Tuesday maintained that such centres exist where the government keep Nigerians without trial.
The rights group claimed that several Nigerians had been languishing at such government’s secret detention centres with the knowledge of their family members of their whereabouts.
It said: “In the Niger Delta, several persons arrested by security agencies are dumped in those secret detention facilities across the country. Com. Daniel Ezekiel, Bonny Gawei and many other prisoners of conscience are typical example of the federal government’s inhuman treatments of Nigerians.
“Amnesty International’s findings indicting the government of human rights abuses are nothing, but the truth.”
The FHRACC said it was shameful that Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information, a lawyer, was defending what the body termed as “brutish and barbaric treatments of Nigerians by the government instead of investigating the allegation.”
It said that Nigerians had proof of what the Amnesty International alleged, adding that if the minister wanted to know the truth, “Comrade Daniel Ezekiel, a human rights activists was arrested by security agencies since August, 2016 in a Gestapo style and nobody even his family members knows his whereabouts up till date.”
FHRACC added: “We have a long list of Niger Deltans in the secret custodies of the government. We shall publish their names in our subsequent publications.
“We commend the Amnesty International for exposing the government of these gross human rights abuses in flagrant violation of international treaties, especially the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons From Enforced Disappearance.
“The APC government has turned Nigeria into a lawless State where the rule of force is the order of the day. The government is no longer using the democratic institutions, especially the court of law to enforce the laws of the land.
“Thousands of Nigerians are writhing in pain in the government’s dungeons. President Buhari must respect the international treaties Nigeria is a signatory. The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons From Enforced Disappearance prohibits these crude and inhuman treatments of Nigerians by the government.
“As Nigeria is a signatory to the convention, we implore Buhari to respect the treaty by releasing all those incarcerated in its secret facilities or charge them to court for any known offence.”