The continued detention of Rev. David Ugolor, the Executive Director of African Network for Economic and Environmental Justice (ANEEJ) despite a court order ordering his release signaled again, that those in position of authority have played lip service to upholding the rule of law. It is worrisome that even in a democratic dispensation under Dr. Goodluck Jonathan’s administration; we are witnessing an ugly incident that is reminiscent of the military era.
Despite several voices against his incarceration by well-meaning Nigerians, particularly the civil society group which was climaxed by the order of a High Court sitting in Benin, Edo State on August 16, those at the top have refused to heed the voice of reason. Does this send a wrong signal about the intention of this administration, particularly the role of civil society that it currently seeks to partner.
We know ..that Rev. Ugolor’s continued captivity may not be unconnected with his activism. He has been at the forefront of the campaign against impunity, including his role in the ongoing Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) as well as his ongoing court case involving some public office holders in the present administration and his unrelenting efforts to ensure a just and fair Nigeria society.
While we are also very interested to know the real killers of Comrade Olaitan, an aide to Governor Adams Oshiomohle and friend of ANEEJ, the infringement on Ugolor’s fundamental rights, the denial for him to attend to his ill-health are both illegal and unconstitutional.
We join hundreds of our colleagues nationwide and other Nigerians that have supported ANEEJ team in this trying period to call on the Inspector General of Police and the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, as law enforcement officers to respect the law and release David Ogulor unconditionally based on the order of the Benin High Court.
The civil society (groups) in Nigeria have spoken, and time will only be the judge
Mohammed Bougei Attah
Managing Editor, NGO Network
12 Sultan Road, GRA