The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has petitioned the United Nations (UN) over alleged intimidation, harassment and unfair treatment of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Chairman Ibrahim Magu, by the Senate.
The petition, which was signed by the Executive Director of SERAP, Mr Adetokunbo Mumuni, was addressed to Mr Michel Forst, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders.
In a copy of the petition made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja yesterday, Mumuni accused the Senate of “apparently working with other agencies of government to use a purported security report it knew or ought to know is baseless and politically-motivated to reject Mr Magu’s confirmation as substantive chairman of the EFCC.
“By relying on a report they knew or ought to know is baseless and politically-motivated to reject Mr Magu’s appointment as chairman of the EFCC, the Senate of Nigeria has flagrantly violated his right to a fair hearing, and is implicitly working to weaken, intimidate, harass and ultimately undermine the independence and freedom of action of the EFCC in its efforts to combat high-profile official corruption,” it said.
The project, therefore, urged Forst to “urgently intervene in this matter to stop further intimidation and harassment of a prominent anti-corruption campaigner and human rights defender.
“SERAP believes that the action by the Senate of Nigeria and other agencies of government apparently working with them undermines and violates Nigeria’s international obligation to respect, protect, promote and fulfill the human rights of the citizens, which inevitably creates a duty for the government to establish efficient and independent anti-corruption mechanisms.
“Apart from the fact that the allegations against Mr Magu are baseless and politically motivated, the Senate of Nigeria flagrantly denied him constitutionally and internationally guaranteed right to a fair hearing by not providing him an opportunity to respond to the allegations against him.”