ECOWAS tells HURIWA to seek redress over DSS invasion
Following a petition sent to some foreign embassies and the Secretariat of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) over alleged invasion by the Department of State Services (DSS) of the offices of the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) recently, the sub-regional body has counseled the rights group to seek legal redress.
According to a statement signed by its National Coordinator , HURIWA, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko , ECOWAS in the letter signed by the Commissioner in-charge of Political Affairs ,Peace and Security, Halima Ahmed directed the Nigerian rights group to seek legal redress in the
Nigerian court system or proceed to the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice.
HURIWA said: “In a correspondence dated June 1st, 2016, sent to the National headquarters of the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) on June 10th 2016 with reference details as follows: ECW/REL.12/PAPS/DPA/DGG/03-06/SK/16,ECOWAS condemned the invasion by the Nigerian Secret Police as that offends relevant provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.
“Thank you for your letter dated 9th May 2016 relating to your “petition over the invasion of our office of the Department of State Service on Monday May 9th 2016.”
“The ECOWAS commission appreciates your request to address the concerns you have raised as they impact on the respect for individual human rights as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights. In the same vein, the ECOWAS Commission respects the principle of sovereignty of States when it comes to the issue of primary responsibility for respect of human rights.
“In the light of the above, we would advise you take necessary steps to present this matter before the competent court of jurisdiction in Nigeria. If still not satisfied, you may refer the matter to the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice which has first instance jurisdiction to address issues of human rights abuse.
“Once again, we express empathy with you and please accept the assurance of our highest considerations,” the letter stated
It would be recalled that HURIWA had in a letter titled: “Petition over invasion of our office by officers of the Department of State Service on Monday 9th May, 2016”, signed by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko protested the invasion of its offices to the sub-regional body.