OBJ’S LETTER: SERAP petitions UN over alleged training of snipers

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BY Abdulwahab Abdulah

Obasanjo-letterSequel to a letter from former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo to President Goodluck Jonathan, alleging that the Federal Government is habouring snippers, a nongovernmental organisation, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has petitioned the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary and Arbitrary Executions to pressurise the Nigerian government to halt any alleged training for political purposes.

In the letter written to Professor Christ of Heyns and signed by SERAP Executive Director, Mr. Tokunbo Mumu-ni, the group called for the investigation of the allegtion and for whoever is involved to be brought to justice.

SERAP’s petition followed allegation last week by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who accused the government of President Goodluck Jonathan of “training snipers and other armed personnel secretly and clandestinely acquiring weapons to match for political purposes like Abacha, and training them where Abacha trained his own killers.”

The petition read: “We are seriously concerned that the allegation, if true, amounts to a grave breach of international law, and directly undermines the government’s responsibility to safeguard the safely and security of the citizens.
“It also constitutes an assault on the rule of law, and is entirely inconsistent with the practice of a democratic society, which Nigeria strives to become.

“The legal right to life and protection against extrajudicial execution is recognised by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Nigeria is a state party.
“Article 6 of the Covenant states that ‘No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life’.”

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