SPACES FOR YOUTH DEVELOPMENT AND SOCIAL CHANGE (SPACES FOR CHANGE) is deeply concerned about the continued detention of 25 year old Lawrence Lilo who has been languishing in the detention facility of the 33 Artillery Brigade of the Nigerian Army in Shadawanka Baracks, Bauchi State, Nigeria, since March 29, 2012.


He was among the residents of Bacha community in Shadawanka Barracks, Bauchi State that were arrested and unlawfully detained for allegedly resisting the March 29, 2012 eviction attempts by the army authorities. The inhabitants of Bacha community are mainly teachers of the Command Secondary School, Bauchi and low-income families, young artisans working in unskilled, unprotected and low-wage informal service industries and trade. They pay rents annually to the military authorities, and many of them had lived there for several years ranging from 7 – 18 years.


On that day, the OC intelligence led the team that invaded and terrorized the community with eviction threats. 9 men were beaten in front of their wives and children, arrested and whisked off to the 33 Artillery Brigade at Shadawanka Barracks where they were detained overnight.

Lawrence Lilo was particularly ordered to pack his belongings by one soldier named, Dan Sokoto of the 211 Artillery Brigade. Dan Sokoto and Lawrence Lilo are known to be neighbours with a history of relationship difficulties. Dan Sokoto allegedly seized the opportunity provided by the eviction operation to make good his threats “to deal with Lawrence one day”. In the process of packing, Dan Sokoto and a colleague descended heavily on him, beating, maiming and seriously wounding him in the process. Several eye witnesses that saw Lawrence bleeding from his nose and mouth alerted SPACES FOR CHANGE.

Some concerned residents reported the incident to the military police section of the Artillery Brigade. Some officials of the military police rushed down to the scene and whisked Lawrence away. At their office at the 33 Artillery Brigade, Lawrence was subjected to even more intense beating and torture. He received a total of 125 strokes of cane in three days! The severe beatings were accompanied with hard labour such as digging pits, sweeping and fetching water for soldiers. Lawrence is still detained at the detention facility of the 33 Artillery Brigade where he is serving series of punishments despite his frail health.

He is the first child in a family of 12. Having lost his father at an early age, he assumed the role of the family breadwinner, and could not further his studies. His family and dependants have had difficulty in feeding and sustaining themselves due to his absence.

SPACES FOR CHANGE strongly condemns the continued detention of Lawrence Lilo, the brutish intrusion into people’s privacy and massive due process breaches that characterized the eviction attempts by the military authorities. First, by failing to issue appropriate notices, and holding meaningful consultations with residents; second, by directly harming people’s rights through violent attacks, arrests and unlawful detention; and third, by not taking adequate measures to ensure the constitutional rights and liberties of citizens are respected and safeguarded, the actions of the military authorities constitute threats to public peace and safety and gross violations of fundamental human rights, including the social and economic rights of citizens espoused in wide-ranging national, regional and international standard setting documents.

By this statement, SPACES FOR CHANGE is appealing to the Inspector General of Police, the Attorney General of the Federation and the National Human Rights Commission to investigate the military invasion, arrests and unlawful detention of innocent citizens with a view to identifying the perpetrators and bringing them to justice. In particular, we demand for the immediate release of Lawrence Lilo.


We demand the 33 Artillery Brigade to immediately halt the unjustified attacks on helpless community residents, including all planned forced evictions and demolitions of people’s homes, churches, schools and businesses without recourse to due process and the rule of law. We also call on all human rights groups, the media and well meaning Nigerians to press on the 33 Artillery Brigade to immediately release Lawrence Lilo from detention.


SPACES FOR CHANGE is committed to protecting and promoting the rights of the populations affected by the arbitrary detentions and planned evictions, and is fully determined to utilize all democratic and legitimate options to vindicate their trampled rights.

Signed

Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri
Executive Director
Spaces for Change

1 Comment

  1. President Goodluck E. A. Jonathan – Nigeria

    The Acting Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar – Nigeria

    Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau – Nigeria

    Hon. (Dr.) Bello H. Mohammed Federal Ministry of Defense – Nigeria

    Hon. Erelu Olusola Obada – Minister of State, Defence – Nigeria

    Hon. Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi – Federal Ministry of Youth Development – Nigeria

    Hon. ( Arc.) Mike Onolememen – Federal Ministry of Works – Nigeria

    H.E. Ambassador Bashir Yugudu – Minister of State – Federal Ministry of Work – Nigeria

    Hon. Justice Mohammed Bello Adoke, SAN Federal Ministry of Justice – Attorney General – Nigeria

    H.E. Governor of Bauchi State – Isa Yuguda – Nigeria

    H.E. Amb. Olugbenga Ashiru – Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Nigeria

    Mr. President, Hon. Ministers, Ladies and Gentlemen:

    RE. 33 ARTILLERY BRIGADE OF THE NIGERIA ARMY IN SHADAWANKA BARACKS, BAUCHI STATE: “ARREST, DETENTION AND TORTURE OF MR. LAWRENCE LILO” (03/29/2012) http://spacesforchange.blogspot .com/2012/04/release-lawrence-lilo-now.html

    Co-Publishers below have been active in global research, investigation, policies and practices for over 77 years and now serving over 220 countries but they have not nailed Nigerian Army to anything adverse to human rights.

    These men and women of armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria have been rated high in democratic and constitutional peacekeeping, peacemaking and exhibited excellence in conventional warfare.

    With surprise, we received the above cross image and the link to this information is afore-posted and fully incorporated for your information and URGENT ACTION.

    In appreciation, see what effort you can make to cause release of this man and effect his, family’s and other victims’ relocation or rehabilitation to enable them transit to settled and better life and humanely habitable.

    Respectfully Researched/Investigated/Submitted:

    Phillip Ofume, Ph.D. Chair, National & International Policy Research Council; Head, Law Reform and Litigation and Security Policy Council;

    Godson Etiebet, Ph.D. Researcher, (Policy/Good Government) Nationaland International Policy Research Council Coordinator, Europe Section, Switzerland

    Cynthia H. Taylor, Ph.D./Alh. (Dr.) Farruk Mohammad Strategic Development Researchers – International Policy Research Council, Middle East Project

    Tan Ochollu, D.Lit. Principal Researcher, (Strategic Development) National and International Policy Research Council Director of Asia Project

    Reid MacDonald, Ph.D. Coordinator, North America Section

    Kris Kifindi Bunkheti, Ph.D. – Sept 2007 – Researcher (Language/Culture), National and International Policy Research Council

    Jerome Tesfai, D. Min/Div Principal Researcher, Policy and Practice in Government and Foreign Interveners – Africa Project

    Francois Bourgeois/Pierre Bushel – International Human Rights Watch and Democracy – St. Etienne, France

    AFRICAN CANADIAN HUMAN RIGHTS ASSOCIATION (ACHRA);
    NETLINK INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATION SYSTEM (NLICS);
    INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN FOR NIGERIAN PEOPLE’S LIBERATION AND
    DEMOCRACY(ICN-PLD); OIL AND CHEMICAL WATCH INTERNATIONAL (OCWI);
    AFRICAN CANADIAN IMMIGRANT SETTLEMENT ASSOCIATION (ACISA);
    INTERNATIONAL NETWORK FOR PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT IN AFRIK (NIPAD).
    IHRRG/IHRRC/IMUN/NDLIF/LIMPT,INC/OTHER ASSOCIATES

    cc.

    Ms. Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri
    Executive Director
    Spaces for Change
    http://spacesforchange.blogspot.com/2012/04/release-lawrence-lilo-now.html

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