Case n° nig/41 - Ameh Ebute Case n° nig/45 - Abu Ibrahim
Case n° nig/42 - Amadi Okorafor Case n° nig/46 - Bola Ahmed Tinubu
Case n° nig/43 - rev. Mac Nwulu Case n° nig/47 - Olawale Oshun
Case n° nig/44 - Polycap Nwite

Resolution adopted without a vote by the Inter-Parliamentary Council at its 160th session
(Seoul, 15 April 1997)

The Inter-Parliamentary Council,

Referring to the outline of the case, as contained in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/160/14(a)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 159th session (September 1996) concerning the case of the above-named Senators of Nigeria,

Taking into consideration the information supplied by several sources on 10 January, 1 April and 4 April 1997,

Recalling that Senators Ebute, Okorafor, Nwulu, Nwite, Ibrahim and Tinubu were prosecuted on charges of conspiracy and treasonable felony for having reconvened the dissolved Senate and declared General Abacha's regime unlawful; that the proceedings against all but Senator Tinubu were discontinued in November 1995,

Recalling that Senator Tinubu is also accused of sabotaging oil production facilities and that the charges against him have not been dropped; that he had to go into exile for fear of his life and that he is wanted publicly,

Recalling that Mr. Olawale Oshun, Chief Whip of the dissolved House of Representatives and Secretary of the National Democratic Coalition, was arrested on 19 May 1995 without charge and held incommunicado until December 1995, when he was released; that his office was raided on 8 and 9 April 1996 at the time of the visit to Nigeria of a United Nations fact-finding mission; that he subsequently went to a secret location near Lagos which was discovered and also raided, reportedly by members of the security forces; that he then went into hiding,

Considering that, according to one of the sources, he had by mid-1996 fled the country for fear of his life; that he and Senator Tinubu are currently the only exiled members of the dissolved Parliament,

Considering also that both have applied for refugee status but reportedly not so far had any response from the appropriate authorities,

Considering that, according to several sources, Senators Ebute and Polycap Nwite are now co-operating with the Government; that, however, the others still in Nigeria remain under threat and may not exercise their right to freedom of expression and association,

Considering that the Nigerian authorities contacted by the Committee and the Council have never replied to the repeated requests for information addressed to them via the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations Geneva Offices,

Bearing in mind that the Nigerian authorities have to date not agreed to a joint fact-finding mission of the United Nations Special Rapporteurs on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and on the independence of judges and lawyers, as requested by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in April 1996,

  1. Deplores the total lack of co-operation from the Nigerian authorities not deigning to reply to the repeated requests for information addressed to them by the Committee, and considers that such an attitude contravenes the very principles of international co-operation;
  2. Can but infer from the silence of the authorities that the allegations of the sources are indeed true and that Senator Tinubu and Representative Oshun were indeed obliged to leave the country for fear of their lives; that, in addition, Representative Oshun was arbitrarily arrested and detained and Senator Tinubu is being arbitrarily prosecuted; that Senators Nwulu, Okorafur and Ibrahim, in common with those two colleagues, are deprived of their right to freedom of expression and association, and that all have indeed suffered manifest violation of their human rights at the hands of the State;
  3. Recalls that Nigeria, as a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, has a duty to respect and protect the rights guaranteed therein, in particular the right to security and liberty of the person, the right to freedom of expression and association and the right of anyone having suffered unlawful arrest or detention to mandatory compensation;
  4. Calls on the Nigerian authorities to comply with their obligations under international human rights norms and to restore the right to freedom of expression and association and the rule of law without, which there can be no genuine transition to civilian rule, which the military rulers of the country have pledged to restore;
  5. Reiterates its wish to ascertain the grounds for Mr. Oshun's arrest and detention and for Mr. Tinubu's prosecution; also wishes to ascertain the current situation of the other MPs concerned;
  6. Calls on member Parliaments to urge their governments to grant refugee status to exiled members of the dissolved Nigerian Parliament;
  7. Requests the Secretary General to convey these considerations to the Nigerian authorities and to invite them once again to supply the desired information;
  8. Further requests the Secretary General to contact the Nigerian Human Rights Commission and seek its views on this case;
  9. Requests the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians to continue examining the case and report to it at its next session (September 1997).

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