A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and rights activist, Femi Falana has given the Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), seven days ultimatum to compel the Nigerian Navy to release detainees in its custody or face legal action.
The rights activist issued the threat in an open letter to the Commission yesterday.
The letter titled, ‘Re: Request for Release of 40 Nigerian Citizens from illegal custody of Nigerian Navy’, was a follow up to the earlier letter dated May 19, 2019, in respect of the above subject matter.
Falana, in the latest letter to NHRC said: “Even though the authorities of the Nigerian Navy ignored your request to respond to our petition concerning the illegal detention of 40 Nigerian citizens without trial, you have not deemed it fit to sanction them in exercise of your powers under the National Human Rights Commission (Amendment) Act, 2010.
“However, the Nigerian Navy has publicly denied the detention of any person in any of its cells. Despite such official denial, some of the detainees have since been released or transferred to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, which has filed charges against them at the Federal High Court.”
According to the rights activist, the illegal detention of several Nigerians and foreigners by the authorities of the Nigerian Navy had exposed Nigeria to ridicule before the comity of civilised nations.
He further disclosed that the Swiss Government has filed a suit against the Federal Government of Nigeria in Zurich over the detention of a vessel and its crew members of four Ukranians by the Nigerian Navy for the past 18 months.