An open letter to the SUG President Remijius emerged few days ago, we do not know the author of this letter,however the lengthy letter pointed out some issues which needs to be addressed. Read below
An open letter to HIS EXCELLENCY, Nwazuo Remijius, the President of the Government of the Students Union, ABIA STATE UNIVERSITY UTURU.
May I first salute your excellency Sir, on your efforts and achievements so far in office. Really, uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.
It’s my honest expectation that you will give due attention to the subject of this letter, a concern I have actually spoken to you about. But it is good the general ABSU community is informed, so they could join me in sincere expectation for a turn around sir.
One of the rights enshrined in the United Nations (of which Nigeria is a member state) Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS OF LAW. This leads me to my next point.
According to subsection (1) (a), section 34, chapter 4 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,
“1. Every individual is entitled to respect for the dignity of his person, and accordingly –
(a) no person shall be subject to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment”.
Subsection 2, section 35, chapter 4 has this to say:
“Any person who is arrested or detained shall have the right to remain silent or avoid answering any question until after consultation with a legal practitioner or any other person of his own choice”.
Sir, the SUG is the voice of the students, and should be in the forefront in protecting their interests. Your popular campaign slogan during the electioneering period was that It has to get better in the way students are handled for whatever reason that lands them in ‘sanko’, the school detention cell. I went to visit a student who was locked up there on account of being accused of stealing a phone. JESUS CHRIST!!! the sight was horrible. My concern now is not whether he stole the phone or not, but the utter disregard of the due process of law by the school security personnel. It was more disheartening because the Chief security acted as a cheer leader as these students were literally humiliated and tortured. Stripped to just their inner wears, bundled outside without considering their privacy and dignity as humans, they were brutally flogged with wires, tyre rubber, (including lighter in the cell as one of the detainees told me). Sir, TORTURE IS NEVER A LEGAL MEANS TO BRING AN ACCUSED INTO SUBMISSION TO COMMITTING AN OFFENCE. THERE IS A DUE PROCESS OF LAW.
Remember that an accused is innocent until proven guilty, not until tortured into consent. That we have seemingly frustrated and ignorant men as security personnel does not mean they will abuse students at will and go free each time.
The SUG has to speak up now. Condemn torture in the school ‘sanko’. In my opinion, even the Chief security personnel and his aides should be charged to court to explain when torture became a legal process. The SUG can actually hire the service of a good lawyer, an advocate of Human Rights.. I’ll be willing to testify in court.
Give us your thoughts on this.