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Published On: Wed, Feb 1st, 2017

HURIWA Urges Civil Societies to Shun Protest Against Uduaghan, Describes Co-ordinators as “Blackmailers”



LAGOS FEBRUARY 1ST (URHOBOTODAY)-A frontline pro-democracy and Non-Governmental Organization, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, has raised the alarm over some mushroom but politically motivated group of individuals that have since last Monday commenced frantic search for credible platforms in the nation’s capital, Abuja, to hire to tarnish the public standing of ex-Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan.
Making the disclosure on Tuesday at a media briefing, the National Coordinator of HURIWA, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko; the Nigerian Human Rights Queen (2017), Miss Chioma Okoli and other officials present advised civil societies organizations to shun any move by those it described as ‘blackmailers’ to lure them into participating in a propose protest against Uduaghan.
Onwubiko who confirmed to journalists that his organization has been inundated by pressure from some known political blackmailers to be enlisted in a sinister plot to stage street protests to the premises of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to attempt to hoodwink the hierarchy of the anti-graft panel to begin systematic witch-hunt of the immediate past administration of Delta State, argued that it has become imperative for it to go public with this information so Nigerians would be aware of the existence of many phantom groups whose major preoccupation is to stoke the embers of hatred against targeted high profile Nigerians just because such persons may not have agreed to be blackmailed into paying huge pay outs to such professional and career blackmailers.
“We were approached by some professional political blackmailers from Delta State to make our organization available to be used as a weapon of mass politically motivated battle against the person and character of the former governor of Delta State but we declined on the ground that the allegations against Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan are not only false but are well orchestrated campaign of calumny meant to prepare the ground for the media trial of the immediate past governor.
“We also declined to participate because we know with available records that as the governor of Delta State, Dr. Uduaghan carried out landmark programmes and projects that significantly improved greater respect to the Human Rights of Delta State residents.
“The then administration transparently handed over to the current administration.
“As a credible Civil Society platform that has been on ground for 10 years now, HURIWA meticulously monitored the immediate past administration of Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan and we can without any fear of contradiction assert that with the evidence at our disposal, those allegations being bandied about are frivolous, unsubstantiated, malicious and lacks credibility.
“How on Earth could the former governor have pocketed a whooping N800 billion and was able to consistently pay salaries for eight years and implemented far reaching impactful projects for the people of Delta State?
“Our fundamental reason for not making our platform available for media trial of politically exposed persons who we know had discharged their constitutional duties creditably is because the abundance of provisions in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 that frowns against media trial of all persons.
“Specifically, Section 36 (1) provides thus: ‘In the determination of his civil rights and obligations, including any question or determination by or against any government or authority, a person shall be entitled to a fair hearing within a reasonable time by a court or other tribunal established by law and constituted in such manner as to secure its independence and impartiality.’
“Importantly Section 36 (5) has it that even when any person has been charged in the competent court of law, the person is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
“We use this medium to appeal to reputable groups in the organized civil society community not to allow the current economic recession to push them into making their organizations available for political witch-hunt.”
HURIWA reasoned that those championing these campaigns of calumny have ulterior motives to railroad the judiciary into passing thoughtful verdicts against their perceived political opponents whenever the anti-graft agency is armtwisted to head to court,” the group stated.

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