Issues around increasing cases of rights abuse in Nigeria by security agencies, flouting of court orders and usurpation of legislative powers ended the plenary of the Senate on Wednesday.

The issues were raised by Senator David Umaru in motion he entitled "alarming rise in cases of alleged human rights violations and consistent assault on the provisions of the 1999 Constitution by the Executive".

He raised concerns over cases of alleged state-inspired human rights violation and consistent constitutional infractions perpetrated by agencies of the government. 

"In the recent past, allegations abound that the Executive has not only consistently violated the fundamental rights of Nigerian citizens particularly the rights to dignity of human person and right to personal liberty as guaranteed respectively under section 34 and 35 f the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended but also infringed on the constitution in several ways.

"Notable instance of such human rights violation are well documented by the Human Rights Watch and other reputable human rights organisation and they include: The continuous detention of former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki, for over two years."Continuous incarceration of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky for over two years," the document read. 

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Deliberation on the issue began and Senator Shehu Sani, one of those that contributed, highlighted that Nigeria is "sliding into tyranny, autocracy or even totalitarianism.

"We must respect and value democracy and conform to certain standards. We are very concerned with the issues raised in this motion.

“When we are out of this office, we must remember that our only shield will be these laws. There is no better way to fight corruption than to use the instrumentality of the law and make sure the common man is not haunted," Senator Sani said.  

It was a deliberation that at the end earned the Attorney General a summon and then other resolutions followed.

First, the Senate urge the Executive to urgently empanel a judicial commission of inquiry to investigate all cases of human rights abuse allegedly committed by the Police, the Nigerian Army and other security agencies in the course of discharging their duties.

They also want the Executive Arm of government to demonstrate practical commitment to the observance of the rule of law especially in ensuring obedience to court orders and following due process in fulfillment of its constitutional obligations.

The Senate further requested that the executives should desist from further violation of the sacred principle of separation of powers and adopt the rule of law as the guiding principle of government actions. 

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Summons were issued for the Honourable Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to appear before the Senate in plenary and explain to the Senate the Constitutional basis for the controversial Executive Order No. 006 and the other Executive Orders which have been issued by the President. 

The lawmakers insisted that it was a clear usurpation of the law making functions of the National Assembly.

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