Foremost Ijaw youth organisation, the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) worldwide has petitioned the United Nations Human Rights Council over human rights abuses in the Niger Delta region by security agencies particularly Directorate of State Security Services (DSS).
The petition which was addressed to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland; Mr. Zeid Raiad Al Hussein, alleged the continued detention of Niger Deltans by various security agencies in Nigeria especially by the DSS.
The petition which was obtained by BigPen Online on Monday was also copied the Africa Commission on Human and Peoples’ Right and the National Human Rights Commission of Nigeria.
In the petition letter dated the 10th of December, 2017 and signed by the President of IYC, Mr. Eric Omare to mark the 2017 World Human Rights Day, the apex Ijaw youth organization stated that several Niger Deltans are currently in DSS detention in relations to the Niger Delta agitations without trial.
The IYC disclosed in the letter that in a recent chat between the President of the IYC, Mr. Eric Omare with Mr. Daniel Ezekiel, who was recently released from DSS custody, it was revealed that there were fifty (50) Niger Deltans in DSS detention until his release after a year and three months in detention without trial.
The IYC further stated that some of the Niger Deltans in detention are Alex Odogu (IYC Spokesman, Abuja Chapter), Michael John, Gabriel Ogbu, Justus Golubus, Joshua Golubus, Norway Suku, Felix Mieminiye, John Fortune and several others.
The IYC states that the continued detention of these Niger Deltans without trial amounts to a violation of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights and chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on fundamental Human Rights.
These international instruments and local laws guarantees citizens right to personal liberty and obligates security agencies to charge anybody that is arrested in suspicion of having committed an offence within 24 hours or a reasonable time.
The IYC state that most of the Niger Deltans in detention have spent more than a year in detention without trial.
In some of the cases, the courts in Nigeria have made an order for their release but the relevant security agencies refused to obey the order and release them on bail.
Consequently, the IYC in the letter called on the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights; Mr. Zeid Raiad Al Hussein, the Commissioners of the Africa Commission on Human and Peoples Rights and the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission of Nigeria to prevail on the relevant security agencies especially the Directorate of State Security (DSS) to release the Niger Deltans in detention without trial as a matter of urgency.