ACJHR Mulls Declaration Of Emefiele’s Trial ‘Political Persecution’

ACJHR Mulls Declaration Of Emefiele's Trial 'Political Persecution'

The Annual Conference of West African Human Right Watch Groups, sponsored by African Center for Justice and Human Right (ACJHR), which holds in Accra, Ghana, in a week’s time will be accessing performance of the West African goverments on how effective fair and diligent prosecution has helped the fight against corruption in the sub-region.

ACJHR will also evaluate how the use of vindictive tools like prolonged detention, multiple charges in different jurisdictions, media trial and intimidation have weakened effective corruption fight in West Africa.

The case of a former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Godwin Emefiele, and other West African leaders who have been denied fair trial especially in Togo, Chad, Niger and Burkina Faso, will top discussion at the conference of the Human Right watch groups.

Briefing journalists at La Palm Beach Hotel in Accra, Ghana, Conference Organising Committee chairman, Comrade John Akufo, said the endless and prolonged detention of Emefiele, abuse of his human rights, bogus charges of terrorism, economic sabotage and corruption which government was yet to prove has caught the attention of the body.

Akufo said the long detention, abuse of Court orders, media trial, public humiliation and other actions have made the human right apex watch bodies to consider discussing his matter at the annual conference.

He said; “if after reviewing the facts and evidence and we find out there more to the case, the apex West African Human Rights gathering will declare the trial as political and put pressure and strong advocacy for Nigerians to pressure their government especially the Court to discharge him and stop the prosecution.”

According to the group, the suspension of Emefiele at the onset of the current administration had political undertone as it portends vindictive action against the former CBN governor, whose policies in the build-up to the 2023 general election in Nigeria were viewed at targeting some politicians.

“For instance, the present President, then candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, had at the height of electioneering, said the Naira swap policy was targeted at him and insisted that he would certainly win the election despite sabotage from official quarters.

“Thus, without preempting what our review will show, it is suspicious that the continued harassment, endless multiple charges , detention , media trial of Emefiele and the actions of state and non-state actors precipitating the whole saga are pointing towards political persecution as the former CBN governor had also reportedly indicated interest in the presidency.

“But as we said earlier, if our investigations revealed so, we will take action to prevail on the government to stop that and stick to the facts and ensure quick dispensation of justice. It’s unfortunate that such is becoming the hallmark of governments not only in Nigeria but Africa generally.”

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