A Right Group, Human Rights Defenders, HURIDE, Ebonyi state, Wednesday petitioned the President of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari to call Ebonyi state Gov David Umahi to order over intolerance of free speech in Ebonyi State.
HURIDE in a statement signed by Comrade Sampson Oko Nweke
(Chairman, HURIDE, Ebonyi State Chapter), and Comrade Prayer Oko
(Secretary, HURIDE, Ebonyi State Chapter) condemned the alleged order for the arrest of Mr. Monday Eze, an Ebonyi man and columnist with New Telegraph Newspaper by the governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. David Umahi.
They called on security operatives in the state not to allow themselves to be used against the indigenes of the state.
The statement, “Human Rights Defenders, HURIDE, Ebonyi State has noted the threats to the fundamental rights of Mr. Monday Eze, an Ebonyi citizen and columnist with New Telegraph Newspaper by the governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. David Umahi, on 21st April 2022 ordered the arrest and prosecution of the columnist over an essay on the lingering detention in prison of Rev. Fr. Timothy Ngwuta, a Catholic priest of Abakaliki Diocese, published on 15th April 2022.
“Human Rights Defenders, HURIDE, Ebonyi State is worried by the unrelenting intolerance of free speech by Governor Umahi of Ebonyi State whose antecedents include life ban on two Ebonyi journalists for publishing factual stories about Ebonyi State and the reinvention of the obnoxious decree 4 as a gag on free speech in Ebonyi State
” Human Rights Defenders, HURIDE, Ebonyi State hereby condemns the threats issued to Monday Eze by Governor Umahi. Eze’s harmless publication falls within the precincts of the constitutionally-guaranteed fundamental rights. HURIDE hereby urges Governor Umahi to rescind his unnecessary threat to Monday Eze’s rights. Governor Umahi is charged to stop harassing Monday Eze and ensuring the safety of the said Monday Eze in Ebonyi State.
“Human Rights Defenders, HURIDE, Ebonyi State is aware that the agents of the state will stop at nothing to ensure that Monday Eze is docked and sent to the custodial center for committing no offense.
” HURIDE hereby calls on the security agents and the courts to resist the temptation or offer of being used to hunt or maliciously prosecute or incarcerate an innocent citizen of Ebonyi State.
” Human Rights Defenders HURIDE Ebonyi State is hereby appealing to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Inspector General of Police, and the National Human Rights Commission to call Governor Umahi of Ebonyi State to order over his unbridled intolerance to free speech and harassment of innocent citizens of Ebonyi State.