The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) says the judiciary is in urgent need of reforms and urged the Federal Government to expedite action in this area.
MURIC Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, in a statement in Lagos on Tuesday, said the call became necessary in order to restore public confidence in the Nigerian judiciary.
“We lament delays in the criminal justice system which allows criminals who have confessed to still continue to maradonise law enforcement agents and judges years after their arrest.
“How can a notorious suspected kidnapper like Chukwudi Onuamadike, popularly known as Evans still be appearing in court years after his celebrated arrest.
“It is sheer gymnastic procrastination. A lot of things are wrong with our judicial system.
“This is a man who confessed to several high profile abductions, including murder. What is he still doing shuttling between courts and detention? He asked.
The MURIC director who also cited the case of the alleged Taraba State kidnap kingpin Hamisu Bala, known as Wadume, said he might not face trial forever if care was not taken.
“This makes a mockery of not only the judicial system but also the war against corruption.
“Although MURIC does not deny that suspects and criminals have certain rights, we contend that it is counter-productive for the judicial system to dignify self-confessed criminals with prolonged and ‘executive’ cases.
“Delays in judgment emboldens criminals. Criminals exploit the various loopholes in the system to their own advantage and hide behind legal technicalities thereby creating the impression of ineptitude on the part of the judiciary,’’ he said.
He added that it was also a pity that Nigeria suffered from a ”desertification of lawyers” of conscience.
“The alacrity with which our lawyers jump at defending criminals constitutes a taint on the integrity of that noble profession.
“The speed with which they grab cases of persons of extremely low morality is quite disturbing. It is a major impediment to the elimination of criminality in the Nigerian society,’’ he said.
Akintola while congratulating President Muhammadu Buhari and his administration for introducing several economic measures to reduce poverty, added that he could still do more to stem the tide of criminality.
“Nigeria can also become a good point of reference in crime-free environments in a not too distant future.
“However, the panacea lies in a well planned, focused and effective reform of the judiciary,“ he said.
Edited by Cecilia Odey/Sadiya Hamza
MURIC calls for release of detained Delta journalist
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has called for the release of Mr Mathew Omonigho, a journalist working with Daily Post newspapers who was arrested by the police in Delta.
MURIC Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, made the call in a statement in Lagos on Friday.
“The Inspector General of Police Squad on May 26, arrested Delta Correspondent of Daily Post, at the premises of Nigeria Union of Journalists, Warri Correspondents’ Chapel.
“Three other journalists who came in solidarity with him were arrested and later released.
“The arrest of Omonigho allegedly for having the telephone number of a suspect is not only laughable but also illegal, unlawful, illegitimate and unconstitutional.
“The search of his telephone is a breach of his privacy. It is a contravention of Section 37 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Section 37 says that the privacy of citizens, their homes, correspondence, telephone conversations and telegraphic communications is guaranteed and protected,” he said.
He added that article 12 of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights to which Nigeria was a signatory stipulated respect for that the right of every individual to privacy, family and correspondence.
“We remind the I-G Squad of Section 23 of the Police Act which stipulates that suspects cannot be detained beyond 24 hours after which the person should be charged to court.
“This is in conformity with the basic constitutional rights of citizens.
“The I-G Squad should note that Article 7(b) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights stipulates the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty by a competent court or tribunal,” he said.
He added that democracy cannot thrive where freedom of the press was not guaranteed.
“We call for his immediate and unconditional release or arraignment before a court of competent jurisdiction.
“We charge the police and other security agencies to desist from constant intimidation and harassment of members of the press,” he added.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)
MURIC condoles with NUJ over Bakare’s death
The Muslims Rights Concern (MURIC) has commiserated with the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) over the death of Mr Waheed Bakare, the Editor of New Telegraph Newspapers.
MURIC Public Relations Officer, Mr Shefiu Ayorinde said this in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja, describing the deceased as honest and hardworking fellow.
“We are saddened by the sudden death of Waheed Bakare.
”He was an amiable fellow, humble, honest and God-fearing who was very passionate about his job and committed to the course of humanity.
“Our sympathy goes to the NUJ, Waheed Bakare was a sunset at noon during his lifetime, we feel your pain.
“MURIC therefore appealed to the NUJ to ensure that families of their fallen colleagues, including Bakare, are not abandoned to their fate.
“We pray that Almighty Allah forgive the deceased’s shortcomings and grant him Al-Jannah firdaus.
”May almighty Allah give his family the fortitude to bear the loss,” he said.
Edited By: Joseph Edeh/Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)
MURIC appreciates LASG for donating palliatives
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has expressed gratitude for the kind gesture of the First Lady of Lagos State, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, for sharing palliatives to the group.
Its Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, in Lagos on Friday, thanked and prayed for the first lady.
“Our organisation had the singular honour of receiving palliatives from the office of the First Lady of Lagos State, Dr Sanwo-Olu.
“The items included five bags of rice, five cartons of spaghetti and four cartons of tinned tomatoes.
“These are precious items in these trying days and they are going to be greatly helpful in cushioning the effect of the lockdown on our members and other poor people.
“The palliatives came at the right time as we approach the Eid al-Fitr festival. They will definitely put some smiles on the faces of some Lagosians,” Akintola said in a statement.
He expressed deep appreciation to the First Lady, her husband, the governor and the entire members of the executive of Lagos State.
“We pray for a very successful tenure for Gov. Babajide Sanwo- Olu, peace and progress in Lagos State and Nigeria as a whole.
“We appeal to other states to follow the footsteps of Lagos State by giving relief materials to their MURIC state branches for onward distribution to the poor at grassroots level.
“Although MURIC, apart from foodstuffs, on its own has distributed up to N3, 396,000 cash as at May 21 as palliatives to various states of the federation.
“We need the support of state governments to be able to reach more vulnerable Nigerians,” Akintola said.
Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)
MURIC condoles with former Lagos Commissioner over mother’s death
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has condoled with the former Lagos State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Dr AbdulLateef Hakeem, over the death of his mother, Alhaja Risikat Balogun.
MURIC Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, said this in a statement in Lagos on Friday.
Akintola said Risikat, answered the call of Allah and died on Thursday after a prolonged illness and not related to any infectious disease.
“She was survived by seven children. Her death was not related to any infectious disease.
“Risikat was a devoted Muslim and an exemplary mother. Islam and service to Allah was her main focus while she was alive.
“She was gentle and caring. A mother in a million, she mentored her children along the path of Islam and made several sacrifices to ensure that they succeed in life.
“We urge friends and members of the family to find solace in the tenets of Islam concerning the inevitability of death and source for strength in the depth of faith,’’ he said.
He prayed that Allah in His Infinite Mercy would also make her hereafter a bigger success story by reposing her soul in the highest pedestal of Al-Jannah Firdaus.
“We commend Hakeem for leading by example, particularly for resisting the temptation to draw a mammoth crowd to his mother’s burial thereby exposing innocent people to the ravaging COVID-19,’’ he said.
Edited By: Abdullahi Mohammed/Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)
Postpone expulsion of ”Almajiri” pupils amid COVID-19 – MURIC tells Northern governors
The Director of MURIC, Prof. Ishaq Akintola,, made the call in a statement he issued in Lagos.
”The mass expulsion would inadvertently aid the caseload of COVID-19 in the receiving states. The expulsion of almajiri by State governments is wrongly-timed.
“Many states of the North have been expelling large numbers of almajiri back to their states of origin in recent times.
”For example, on April 21, Kano expelled 432 almajiri to Katsina, 63 to Yobe, 198 to Kaduna, etc.
”Expectedly, the Northern states are beginning to take responsibility and there is every reason to believe that plans are already on ground to take good care of those almajiri on arrival in their home states. The motive behind it is commendable.
“However, the expulsions have coincided with the COVID-19 outbreak and this is our first concern. The children are being exposed to great danger.
”To make matters worse, significant numbers of these almajiri are testing positive to Coronavirus thereby swelling the COVID-19 caseloads of their receiving states and making the management of this global pandemic more difficult for Nigerian authorities.
”Unfortunately, some of these almajiri are also escaping to southern states, potentially spreading COVID-19 to every nook and cranny of Nigeria.
“It is clear that the concerned Northern States appeared to have acted without consulting Islamic scholars who are at their beck and call. Islam opposes the idea of leaving a city under plague attack.
”The Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) warned that, ‘If a plague breaks out in a city and you are living there, do not leave it. And if you are about to enter a city and there is a plague there, do not enter there’
He appealed to the security agencies to strictly enforce the ban on interstate travels, including stemming the tide of interstate almajiri ‘exports’.
“Many of the index cases in some states have been traced to people who came in from outside such states.
“Instead, all those almajiris should gather in a few central locations, test them for the Coronavirus, isolate the infected and treat them promptly.
“That way, this scourge will be nipped in the bud among them and we would have prevented the spread of COVID-19 via infected almajiri to the whole of the country,” he said.
Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)
Ramadan: Extend charity to all faith, MURIC appeals to muslims
An Islamic Human Rights Organisation, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), on Friday appealed to muslims to extend the Ramadan feeding and other charity programmes to people of all faith.
The MURIC Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, made the appeal in a Ramadan message to muslims, which was made available to newsmen in Lagos.
Akintola said that all muslims had every reason to thank Allah for being alive during this critical period.
“The Sultan of Sokoto and the President-General, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, had announced the sighting of the moon signaling the commencement of the 2020 (1441AH) Ramadan.
“We send fraternal greetings to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Sultan of Sokoto and all muslims in the country on the occasion of the beginning of Ramadan.
“There is every reason for Nigerians to thank Allah for being alive at this trying period.
“We appeal to muslims to extend their Ramadan feeding and other charity programmes to people of all faith,” he said.
The Muric director prayed that everyone would witness many more Ramadan on earth, calling on all Nigerians to show gratitude to Allah for being alive at this trying period.
“It has heralded death in its thousands and has rendered the global economy asunder. Hunger and starvation stare mankind in the face.
“Therefore, Nigerian muslims have the responsibility to extend their feeding and other charity programmes to Christians, traditionalists and people of all faith.
“COVID-19 is a leveler. It has equated fasting muslims with hungry non-muslims. Nigerians are battling with two viruses: Coronavirus and hunger virus,” he said.
Akintola advised every muslim not to nurse malice towards others, no matter the religious background.
“We are all fasting. We are all in the Ramadan season, a season of hope, mercy and forgiveness.
“Therefore, nurse no malice towards any human being, no matter his religious or tribal background so that your fasts may be accepted. Extend charity to all.
“We must raise the banner of love and kindness as proclaimed by the Prophet of Mercy, Muhammad the son of Abdullahi.
He, however, charged all rich muslims to feed the fasting muslims and hungry Nigerians instead of travelling out to Saudi Arabus for Umrah.
“The Hadith affirms the huge reward accruing to those who feed people who are fasting without prejudice to the reward of those who are fed.
“We call on muslims who are engaged in this holy exercise to spend the period in prayers for the lifting of this COVID-19 affliction from Nigeria in particular and the globe in general.
“We also call for prayers for peace, political stability and economic buoyancy in our country,” Akintola added.
Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare/Donald Ugwu (NAN)
COVID-19: MURIC gives cash, food worth N2m to vulnerable Nigerians
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) says it has distributed food items worth N2 million needy Nigerians to amelioration hunger and hardship associated with the COVID-19 lockdown.
Prof. Ishaq Akintola, Director MURIC, said in a statement on Monday in Lagos that the palliative was provided under the “MURIC COVID-19 Relief Scheme” launched last month.
Akintola said that Muslims from all parts of the country have been donating to the scheme.
“The money realised is being steadily channelled to widows, orphans and other vulnerable Nigerians through the state chairmen of the organisation.
“As at midnight of Sunday, April 19, the scheme has netted N2.2 million.
“To date, we have disbursed N2.03 million, leaving cash balance N177,500,’’ he said.
He said the disbursements were channelled through the chairmen of state branches of MURIC.
“The chairmen, operating at the grassroots level, have been able to identify vulnerable Nigerians and give them relief materials in cash and kind.
“Through this method, we have been able to bring smiles to the faces of Nigerians in our own little way.’’
In Lagos, he said, the state chapter of MURIC carried out a ‘three-Day Feed the Hungry’ campaign last week where rice and other items were distributed to the vulnerable groups.
“Our Katsina State chapter, under Aminu Yalwa and MURIC’s Ambassador to the state, Mohammed Ruma, presented cartons of spaghetti to the Katsina State government,’’ he said.
Akintola said the organisation had also responded to distress calls from need Nigerians by sending cash directly to their bank accounts.
“As little as between N2,000 and N2,000 were shared and the reactions we get from them shows the gravity of their plight.
“The depth of abject poverty among poor Nigerians during this lockdown is glaring.’’
He said that the distribution of the relief packages cut across all Nigerians, regardless of tribal or religious sentiment.
The director expressed the organisation’s appreciation to all donors “who made it possible for us to reduce hunger and suffering among Nigerians during the COVID-19 lockdown.
“We appeal to Nigerians to be their brothers’ keepers.
“We charge wealthy individuals to give more at this trying moments.
“Nigerians are hungry; give your neighbour something no matter how little,’’ he said.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)
MURIC mourns Abba Kyari
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) on Saturday condoled with President Muhammadu Buhari over the death of his Chief of Staff (CoS), Abba Kyari, who died of complications from Coronavirus (COVID-19) disease.
The MURIC Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola in a statement issued in Lagos, also condoled with the family of the former CoS, the deceased’s personal friends and the generality of Nigerians.
“We commiserate with President Muhammadu Buhari, the family of the former CoS, the deceased’s personal friends and the generality of Nigerians.
“Abba Kyari will be remembered for his uncommon loyalty, his incomparable patriotism and his thoroughness.
“He was an administrative colossus, a political juggernaut and a spinner nulli secundus.
“Abba Kyari knew not only how to hit the iron when it is hot, but how to make the iron hot by heating it at the right time,” he said.
He said MURIC was greatly saddened by the demise of the CoS, whom he said was a great son of the soil.
“A thick darkness has enveloped our great country, Nigeria.
“Even though our hearts are heavy with grief, we submit as believers to the decree of Almighty Allah in whose hands lies the decision to let live or to recall to mother earth.
“May Allah forgive him and repose his soul in Al-Jannat Al-Firdaus. May He also give President Muhammadu Buhari another CoS of like character and quality.
“We also pray that Allah gives the family of the deceased the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss,” Akintola said.
He also prayed for the recuperation of all those who had been infected by the virus.
“If indeed it can penetrate the seat of power, it means no one is immune from it.
“We, therefore, advise Nigerians to eschew stubbornness and cynicism. They should obey instructions given by health officials and the government.
“Avoid crowded places, maintain social distancing, stay at home, wash your hands regularly with soap and avoid touching your face, and your nose. Only living Nigerians can serve Nigeria,” Akintola added.
Edited By: Gregg Mmaduakolam/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)
MURIC urges transparancy in distribution of palliatives to vulnerable groups
The Muslims Rights Concern (MURIC), an NGO, has called on state governments to ensure transparency in the selection and distribution of palliatives to indigent Nigerians, aimed at cushioning the effects of lockdown due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Director of the group, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, gave the advice on Friday in a statement, in Abuja.
Akintola expressed dissatisfaction with the method of collation of beneficiaries in some states.
“We need to monitor the modalities for selection of indigent Nigerians and vulnerable people within communities at the grassroots.
“The parameters for collating names of beneficiaries should also be made public.
“Such yardsticks should be devoid of religious or partisan considerations.
“It is only when this is done that the system could be described as open,” he said,
Akintola emphasised the need for states to set up machinery for the smooth registration of the aged and vulnerable people in the society.
Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Nyisom Fiyigon Dore (NAN)
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