The HUMAN Rights Writers' Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has condemned the recent harassment and intimidation of the immediate past interior minister, Captain Emmanuel Iheanacho by Nigerian Maritime And Safety Agency (NIMASA) over alleged storage of "stolen crude oil" (AGO CARGO) in the tank farm associated with the former minister of interior.
A statement signed by the Executive Director of the agency, Mr Emmanuel Onwubuiko, said "The manner of the arrest of the former minister to us is a total violation of the fundamental human rights as a Nigerian citizen. We are aware of the widely circulated defence put up by the former minister whereby he cleared himself and company of involvement in the storage of the alleged stolen petroleum products.
It said further that "The immediate past minister had also, contrary to the allegation that his company was in breach of the law in storing the said petroleum products, claimed thus; "In the course of the invasion, the intruders ransacked the entire tank farm complex, arresting and violently manhandling the workers at the complex, laying them flat on the floor, seizing their hands sets.
At the end of the day, five members of the staff of the company were allegedly abducted and taken to NIMASA for interrogation and have since been transferred to the SSS at Shangisha where they were held incommunicado."
The statement added that "As a human rights organization, we recognize the sanctity of fundamental human rights as enshrined in section 36 of the constitution of Nigeria of 1999 as amended. A citizen alleged to be in breach of the law is innocent in the eye of the law until proven guilty by a competent court of law and must not be subjected to undue harassment through the instrumentality of Government controlled power of coercion."