Resolution adopted without a vote by the Inter-Parliamentary Council
at its 162nd session (Windhoek, 11 April 1998)

The Inter-Parliamentary Council,

Having before it the case of Senator Adewunmi, a member of the dissolved Senate of Nigeria, which has been the subject of a study and report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians in accordance with the " Procedure for the examination and treatment by the Inter-Parliamentary Union of communications concerning violations of human rights of parliamentarians ",

Referring to the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/162/11(a)-R.1), which contains a detailed outline of the case, and to the resolution adopted at its 161st session (September 1997) concerning the case of the above-mentioned members of the Parliament of Nigeria dissolved in 1993,

Considering that, according to one of the sources, Senator Adewunmi, former Chairman of the Senate Committee on Economic Planning, has been detained for almost two years without any charges having been brought against him; that the source fears that he is kept in detention solely on account of his opposition to General Abacha's regime,

Recalling that Senators Ebute, Okorafor, Nwulu, Nwite, Ibrahim and Tinubu were arrested on 2 June 1994 and charged with treasonable felony and conspiring with others to overthrow the Government because they had met on 30 May 1994 and urged General Sani Abacha to step down as Head of State; that, on 22 July 1994, they were released on bail and that in December 1995 their cases were closed with the exception of that of Senator Tinubu, who was subsequently also charged with sabotaging oil installations and went into exile for fear of his life; that the others have been warned against criticising the Government, are under strict surveillance and keep silent for the sake of their lives,

Recalling that Mr. Olawale Oshun, a member of the dissolved House of Representatives, was arrested on 19 May 1995 and detained incommunicado without charge; that he was released in December 1995 and went underground in April 1996 after two raids on his office and his home, and that he has subsequently gone into exile,

Recalling that various sources reported in early 1997 that Senators Ebute and Polycap Nwite were now co-operating with the regime and were participating in the process of transition to civilian rule established by the regime; that, on the basis of this information, the Committee recommended to the Inter-Parliamentary Council at its 161st session (September 1997) that it close their cases,

Considering, however, that in October 1997 the sources reported that in fact Senator Polycap Nwite had been re-arrested in May 1997 and since remained in detention without any charges having been brought against him; that he was reportedly arrested for having met Senator Tinubu abroad and for allegedly plotting with him to carry out bomb attacks in Nigeria; that Senator Ebute was reportedly also kept in detention for some time,

Considering that, according to one of the sources, Senator Nwulu is seriously ill; that, however, the authorities refuse to allow him to travel abroad for the necessary medical treatment,

Considering finally that Senator Tinubu remains charged with treason for participating in the Senate meeting that called on General Abacha to step down and for planning to bomb the Egigbo oil depot; that both charges are punishable with life imprisonment or the death penalty,

1. Is outraged at the renewed arrest and detention of Senator Polycap Nwite, and urges the authorities to release him immediately or institute due judicial process under a tenable criminal charge without further delay;

2. Expresses deep concern at the arrest and detention without charge of Senator Adewunmi, and likewise urges the authorities either to release him immediately or to bring him to trial without delay on a tenable criminal charge;

3. Wishes to ascertain the current situation of Senators Nwite and Adewunmi and in particular:

(i) The exact date and legal grounds for their arrest;

(ii) The facts adduced to substantiate the charges and whether defence counsel is available to them;

(iii) The place and exact conditions of their detention, in particular whether they are allowed visits from their relatives and/or defence counsel;

(iv) Their state of health;

4. Is deeply concerned that Senator Nwulu is prevented from travelling abroad for the medical treatment he requires, and urges the authorities to respect his right to freedom of movement and to cease preventing him from leaving the country;

5. Remains concerned that Senators Okorafor and Ibrahim are under strict surveillance and risk arrest if they criticise the Government;

6. Wishes to ascertain the current situation of Senator Ebute;

7. Reiterates its conviction that Senator Tinubu has been charged solely on account of the political stand he has taken against the present military regime, and urges the authorities to withdraw the charges against him;

8. 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 person, the right to freedom of expression and association, the right to leave and to return to one's country in safety, the right to justice and the right of anyone having suffered unlawful arrest or detention to mandatory compensation;

9. Calls once again on the Nigerian authorities to comply with their obligations under international human rights standards 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;

10. Requests the Secretary General to resume contact with the competent authorities and invite them to supply the requested information;

11. Also requests the Secretary General to bring its concerns to the notice of any international organisation or body which may be able to provide the information sought and take appropriate action;

12. Requests the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians to continue examining the case and report to it at its next session (September 1998).

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