Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has described the arrest and continued detention of the deposed Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, as egregious violation of his human rights.
The group made this known in a complaint signed by its Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare and sent to the United Nations Working Group to initiate a procedure involving the investigation of Emir Sanusi’s case.
SERAP said the detention of Emir Sanusi constitutes an arbitrary deprivation of his liberty because it does not have any legal justification and the detention also does not meet minimum international standards of due process.
“We urge the Working Group to request the Nigerian and Kano State authorities to investigate and hold accountable all persons responsible for the unlawful arrest, continued detention, and degrading treatment of Emir Sanusi.”
“We are also calling on the Working Group to request the Nigerian and Kano State authorities to award Emir Sanusi adequate compensation for the violations he has endured as a result of his unlawful arrest, arbitrary detention, and degrading treatment.
“A detention is arbitrary when it is clearly impossible to invoke any legal basis justifying the deprivation of liberty. Article 9(1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which confirms the right to liberty and freedom from arbitrary detention, guarantees that no one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedure as are established by law.”
“The Human Rights Committee has interpreted this right to mean that procedures for carrying out legally authorized deprivation of liberty should also be established by law and State parties should ensure compliance with their legally prescribed procedures.”
“Pursuant to the mandate of the Working Group, the “Manual of Operations of the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council” and the publication “Working with the UN Human Rights Programme, a Handbook for Civil Society”, SERAP, a non-governmental human rights organization, can provide information on a specific human rights case or situation in a particular country, or on a country’s laws and practices with human rights implications.”
“As set forth in this Individual Complaint, the Nigerian and Kano State authorities are arbitrarily depriving the deposed Emir of Kano, Muhammed Sanusi II (Sanusi Lamido Sanusi) of his liberty and continues to arbitrarily detain him. Emir Sanusi is a citizen of Nigeria and has been detained since 9 March, 2020. He continues to be detained without access to the outside world.”
“SERAP therefore argues that the case adequately satisfies the requirements by which to submit an individual complaint to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.”
“SERAP is therefore seeking an opinion from the Working Group finding Emir Sanusi’s continuing detention to be arbitrary and in violation of Nigeria’s Constitution and obligations under international law.”
“Emir Sanusi Lamido Sanusi was the Emir of Kano, Muhammed Sanusi II, Kano State of Nigeria until 9 March, 2020 and is a known critic of the Nigerian and Kano State authorities. He has for many years campaigned for universal access to quality education for Nigerian children and exposed political corruption and human rights violations in Nigeria,” the letter read in part.