CASE N° NIG/41 - Ameh Ebute
CASE N° NIG/42 - Amadi Okorafor
CASE N° NIG/43 - Rev. Mac Nwulu
CASE N° NIG/44 - Polycap Nwite
CASE N° NIG/45 - Abu Ibrahim
CASE N° NIG/46 - Bola Ahmed Tinubu
CASE N° NIG/47 - Olawale Oshun
CASE N° NIG/48 - O. J. Adewunmi

Resolution adopted without a vote by the Inter-Parliamentary Council
at its 163rd session (Moscow, 12 September 1998)

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/163/12(a)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 162nd session (April 1998) concerning the case of the above-mentioned members of the Parliament of Nigeria dissolved in 1993,

Taking account of the information supplied by the sources on 4, 20 and 29 June, 2 July and 28 August 1998,

Recalling that former 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 other MPs, who were warned against criticising the Government, are under strict surveillance and refrain from speaking out for fear of their lives,

Recalling that Mr. Polycap Nwite was re-arrested in May 1997 reportedly for having met Mr. Tinubu abroad and for allegedly plotting with him to carry out bomb attacks in Nigeria; that he was reportedly held in Alagbon Detention Centre in Lagos and was not allowed visits from his family or lawyer; considering that he was reportedly released soon after General Abdulsalam Abubakar came to power,

Recalling that Mr. Nwulu, who is seriously ill, has reportedly been prevented by the authorities from travelling abroad for medical treatment,

Considering that Mr. Ebute has joined one of the political parties set up under the Abacha regime and that the sources believe him not to be in danger,

Recalling that Mr. Olawale Oshun 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,

Considering that Senator Adewunmi has reportedly been in detention in Okoyi Prison for almost two years without charge; that he was ill when arrested and that his health has worsened owing to the lack of any medical facilities in prison; that, according to the sources, he may be one of the more than 160 prisoners detained without charge or trial under State Security Decree N° 2 of 1984 or awaiting trial under Decree N° 18 of 1994 (" Failed Banks and Other Financial Malpractices in Banks Decree "), which have both reportedly been used to detain bank directors and managers for political reasons,

Recalling that, deploring the total lack of co-operation from the Nigerian authorities, it was led to conclude, at its 160th session in April 1997, that the allegations of the sources were true and that the human rights of the former parliamentarians concerned had indeed been violated by State authorities,

Bearing finally in mind that General Sani Abacha died on 8 June 1998 and that his successor, General Abdulsalam Abubakar declared publicly on 21 July 1998 that all political detainees would be freed and that his administration would respect human rights; that a number of political prisoners have indeed been released; that he also announced that presidential elections would be held in early 1999 so that the newly elected President could be sworn in in May 1999,

  1. Is encouraged by statements made by the new Head of State of Nigeria that his Government will seek to ensure respect for human rights and the release of all political prisoners, and expresses therefore the earnest hope that freedom of expression, assembly and association and the rule of law, without which there can be no genuine transition to civilian rule, will soon be restored;
  2. Notes that, according to the sources, Mr. Polycap Nwite has been released, and would appreciate confirmation thereof from the authorities; deeply regrets his arrest and detention for several months without charge; and recalls in this connection that, according to Article 9, paragraph 5, of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, to which Nigeria is a party, anyone who has suffered unlawful arrest or detention shall have an enforceable right to compensation;
  3. Remains deeply concerned at the continued detention without charge or trial of Mr. Adewunmi and at the conditions of his imprisonment which have considerably impaired his health;
  4. Recalls that, under the international human rights standards to which Nigeria has subscribed, any person arrested or detained shall be brought promptly before a judge and shall be entitled to trail within a reasonable time or to release, and urges the authorities consequently to either release Mr. Adewunmi or bring him to trial without further delay;
  5. Wishes to ascertain the situation of former Senators Okorafor, Ibrahim and Nwulu and earnestly hopes that the latter may now freely travel abroad;
  6. Reiterates its conviction that Mr. Tinubu has been charged solely on account of his political stand against General Abacha's military regime; that Mr. Oshun's detention was politically motivated, and urges the authorities to withdraw the charges against Mr. Tinubu and ensure that both may return to Nigeria without any fear for their safety and may fully exercise their human rights;
  7. 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 liberty and security 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;
  8. Notes that Mr. Ebute has joined a legally recognised political party and, according to the sources, is no longer under threat, and decides consequently to close his case;
  9. Requests the Secretary General to convey this resolution to the competent authorities;
  10. Requests the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians to continue examining the case and report to it at its next session (April 1999).

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