The Unity Party of Nigeria has called on the police and non-governmental organisations to investigate the detention and deportation of about 70 Nigerian citizens from Lagos, without trial, and prosecute Lagos State officials involved for possible human rights violations.
The UPN added that the state government should publicly apologise, compensate and rehabilitate all the victims of the deportation.
In a statement sent to SUNDAY PUNCH, by the Chairman of UPN and founder of the Oodua Peoples Congress, Dr. Fredrick Fasehun, the party described the forced relocation of about 70 persons, most of whom were Igbo, from Lagos to Onitsha, in Anambra State as insensitive, provocative and unconstitutional.
It said, “This shows clearly that the Action Congress of Nigeria, in Lagos State, governs with abundant arrogance and impunity. If Governor Babatunde Fashola cannot be sued for this illegality because he enjoys immunity, his commissioners and heads of the concerned agencies, who contrived this criminality, must be made to feel the full weight of the law.
“Lagosians are literarily under siege from Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, the Kick Against Indiscipline Brigade and the Task Force on Environmental Offences, all of whom have turned themselves into terrors on the streets.”
The party added that the deportation did not only violate all known international conventions and human rights charters, it assaulted the “Right to freedom of movement” enshrined in Section 41 of the Nigerian Constitution.
“No Nigerian citizen can be deported even by the Nigerian state, let alone a state government. That has been well laid to rest in the 1980 case of Alhaji Abdulrahman Shugaba, for whose illegal deportation even the Supreme Court approved a compensation of N350, 000 currently about $350, 000,” he said.
The UPN also urged the Federal Government to investigate Lagos State agencies, which it accused of daily capturing people and throwing them into “Black Maria” for illegal detention.
Also, the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra has said it has been pushed to the wall by the dumping of the beggars in Onitsha, Anambra State.
Officials of the Lagos State Government had on July 24, 2013, dumped no fewer than 70 beggars and the homeless at the Upper Iweka Bridge in Onitsha.
They were reportedly brought to the place in four buses escorted by riot policemen.
Speaking to our correspondent on Friday, the Director of Information, MASSOB, Mr. Uchenna Madu, however, said it would not reciprocate with ejection or violence.
The state government has however said it deported only 14 persons.