- SERAP has called on President Donald Trump to ban Nigerian governors and public office holders who harass and illegally jail journalists, activists and others from entering the US
- The organisation said the harassment of innocent citizens can no longer be entertained by leaders
- According to SERAP, the families and relatives of the corrupt leaders should also be banned from gaining access to the United States of America
A civil society organisation has written a letter to the president of the United States of America, Donald Trump, over arrests and jailing of journalists and other innocent citizens by governors of different states.
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) in its letter asked the US president to exercise his constitutional powers “pursuant to the Presidential Proclamations 7750 and 8697 to instruct the US Secretary of State and US Ambassador in Nigeria and temporarily ban Nigerian state governors and other senior public officials misusing the criminal justice system.
SERAP also stating that the journalists, bloggers and activists are being harassed and jailed for reporting on allegations of corruption by these public office holders said the US government should stop them (governors and leaders) from entering the US.
In a statement signed by its deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare, SERAP said the families and relatives of the corrupt leaders should also be banned.
Oluwadare in the letter dated October 30, said: “Democracy demands ‘maximum disclosure’ of all government-held information, and this won’t happen without respect for media freedom and the citizens’ rights to know.
He said undue restrictions on media freedom and the right to know would imply nothing short of abrogation of the ideals of democracy and good governance.
Stating that citizens’ right to know is vital for social welfare and other human rights, Oluwadare said media freedom is essential for the general progress of a democratic society.
He said SERAP's recent report documents cases of attacks on journalists, bloggers and activists reporting on allegations of corruption and related matters in the following states of Nigeria: Cross River; Abia; Ebonyi; Kano; Jigawa; Bauchi; and Kaduna states.
Oluwadare said SERAP hopes that President Trump will exercise his constitutional powers to promote human rights, media freedom, transparency and accountability in Nigeria.
The letter read in parts: “The proclamations note the US ‘enduring commitment to respect for human rights and humanitarian law’, which requires that its government be able to ensure that the US does not become a safe haven for suspected violators of human rights and other abuses. They also aim to help the US authorities to secure peace, promote the rule of law, combat crime and corruption, and strengthen democracies around the globe.”
“Significantly, the Presidential Proclamations underscore that it is in the interests of the United States to take action to restrict the international travel and to suspend the entry into the United States, as immigrants or non-immigrants, of certain persons who are suspected to be involved in serious violations of human rights, humanitarian law and other abuses," the letter said.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the publisher of Sahara Reporters', Omoyele Sowore, was arrested by officials of the Department of State Services for organising the #RevolutionNow protest in various states of the country.
Sowore who is currently still in detention has been granted bail by a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.
The publisher who is also an activist is yet to meet the bail condition which was recently reviewed by the judge presiding over his trial of alleged felony, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu.
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