NGA 001 / 0108 / OBS 008
January 16, 2008
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Nigeria.
Description of the situation:
The Observatory has been informed by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) about the assassination of Mr. Alhaji Saula Saka, the Lagos State Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW).
According to the information received, on January 6, 2008, in the evening, Mr. Alhaji Saula Saka was shot repeatedly by four killers at his residence, in Iyana Ipaja.
The killers also shot in all directions to scare people away so nobody could approach him in order to rescue him. After the shooting, the family rushed him to hospital as he had sustained severe gunshot wounds. Mr. Alhaji Saula Saka was declared dead at around 9.30 pm at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital at Ikeja.
The Observatory expresses its deep concern about Mr. Alhaji Saula Saka’s death and fears that it might be the result of his trade union activities.
The Observatory also recalls that according to Article 12.2 of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 9, 1998, “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration”.
Please write to the Nigerian authorities, urging them to:
- Order a thorough and impartial investigation into the killing of Mr. Alhaji Saula Saka, in order to identify all those responsible, bring them before a civil competent and impartial tribunal and apply to them the penal sanctions provided by the law;
- Guarantee that adequate reparation is provided to his relatives;
- Put an end to all acts harassment against human rights defenders in Nigeria;
- Conform with the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly on December 9, 1998, especially its Article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”, as well as above-mentioned Article 12.2;
- More generally, ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international and regional human rights instruments ratified by Nigeria.
- Mr. Mohammed Hassan Lawal, Labour Minister, Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Federal Secretariat, Shehu Shagari, Abuja, Nigeria, Fax: +234 9 5235994 / 5235973 / 5235993
- Chief Bayo Ojo, Federal Minister of Justice, Federal Ministry of Justice, New Federal Secretariat Complex, 10th Floor, Wing lB (1001-1099), Block One, Shehu Shagari Way, Abuja, Nigeria. Tel: + 234 09-5235194. Fax: + 234 09 5235208
- Ambassador Martin Ihoeghian Uhomoibhi, Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations in Geneva, 1 rue Richard Wagner, 1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 734 10 53. Email: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
- Embassy of Nigeria in Brussels, 288 avenue de Tervueren, 1150 Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, Belgium, Fax: + 32 2 762.37.63 / 762.39.10. Email: email@example.com
Please also write to the embassies of Nigeria in your respective countries.
Geneva - Paris, January 16, 2008
Kindly inform the Observatory of any action undertaken quoting the code number of this appeal in your reply.
The Observatory, a FIDH and OMCT venture, is dedicated to the protection of Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time of need.
The Observatory was the winner of the 1998 Human Rights Prize of the French Republic.
To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:
Tel and fax: FIDH : +33 (0) 1 43 55 20 11 / 33 1 43 55 18 80
Tel and fax: OMCT : + 41 22 809 49 39 / 41 22 809 49 29
E-mail : Appeals@fidh-omct.org