Crime Suspects Also Have Rights, Lawyer Says

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Crime Suspects, Usman Umar Fari, Have Rights, Lawyer Says
Fari insists that issues of human rights must be taken seriously

Kano-based lawyer and human rights activist, Usman Umar Fari has urged Nigerians to pursue the enforcement of their fundamental human rights in bringing to an end to the worrisome cases of illegal detention and extra judicial killings by security operatives.

Fari, in a chat with journalists in his office in Kano on Saturday, said Nigerians must cultivate the attitude of seeking for compensation whenever their rights were been infringed upon by security agencies, adding that despite the systematic challenges, the culture of silence would only continue to aid the illegal detention of persons without recourse to recognizing their rights.

He revealed that the torture and degradation of the dignity of suspected person are void before the law, appealing to Nigerians to take up the gargantuan task of challenging such situations whenever they occur.

According to him, security operatives, specifically the Nigeria Police, only has the powers to arrest when there is reasonable suspicion.

He further said arrest of suspects should serve as the last stage of investigation as against the current situation where the reverse is the case.

He condemned the situation where suspects are detained while investigations were ongoing without the agencies adopting the legal measures required for such detentions to take place as stipulated by law.

Fari also cautioned against what he described as media trial by security agencies, explaining that before a suspect is paraded before the press, security organisations ought to seek for the consent of the detained persons before parading them before members of the press.

He said suspects are been degraded and paraded barely naked before the media, stressing that the law states clearly that even persons who have been convicted should be dignified.

Fari however said poverty constitutes one of the reasons why many Nigerians could not challenge the infringements been meted on their rights by security organs across the country “since many cannot afford the services of a lawyer.”

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