COVID-19: Release Benue index patient now, HURIWA tells Benue Govt

*Asks Amnesty international; Human Rights Watch; UN Human Rights Council to intervene NOW:

The Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy group-: HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has described as a PRISONER OF CONSCIENCE the 54-year old Mrs. Susan Okpe, who was said to be the Benue index case of Corona Virus just as the Rights group has asked President Muhammadu Buhari; Prime Minister Boris Johnson to intervene so she regains her freedom.

HURIWA has also asked the Nigerian office of the London based International human rights crusaders- Amnesty international; the New York’s based Human Rights Watch and the Swiss based United Nations Human Rights Council to step into the matter to ensure that the illegal detention and holding of a citizen as a hostage by the Benue State’s admininistration is brought to an end.

The Rights group (HURIWA) said also that reputable lawyers like Chief Olisa Agbakaoba (SAN); Femi Falana (SAN) and Ebun Onagoruwa(SAN) should kindly deploy their expansive reach in the Nigerian judicial system to secure legal reprieve for Mrs. Susan Okpe who from every available evidence is a PRISONER OF CONSCIENCE detained by the state government of Benue State.

HURIWA recalled that nearly a month ago the said index case in Benue State Susan Okpe had cried out to  President Muhammad Buhari of Nigeria and the British Government, to evacuate her from Benue state just as the Governor of Benue State, Dr. Samuel Ortom had on Saturday, 28th March, announced that Mrs. Okpe was the Benue’s first recorded case of Corona Virus, also known as COVID-19 against every civilised protocols and medical ethics which forbid the exposure of the medical records of an identified person especially without the consent of the subject matter.

HURIWArecalled that Susan Okpe, a British Nigerian, arrived the country on Saturday, 21st March through the Kenya Airways for the burial of her mother slated to hold early next month even as a family sources told the media that, Mrs. Okpe ran series of tests before leaving the United Kingdom.

HURIWA stated that in a message sent via WhatsApp to our reporters including the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA), Mrs. Okpe appealed to the Federal Government and the UK Government to move her out of Benue State even as she stated in her own words thus: “I have kept my cool, but am now sick with swollen gums, being stooling throughout the night, no nurses or medical attention. My crime is that am a British who came into Nigeria, particularly Benue State; felt feverish, took myself for check up because I have travelled longer than usual.After examinations, I was told by the doctor my temperature was high and I said keep me for observations as I did not experience any before I left London, passed from Lagos to Abuja my temperature was like any other passenger was being monitored by the authorities.”

HURIWA stated however that after nearly a Month that the distressed lady made the clarion call which elicited the response of the British embassy including a rash of propaganda masterminded by the Benue State government, it does not appear that this PRISONER OF CONSCIENCE  has been freed even when the Benue State government cleared all the persons that reportedly met her on arrival from Great Britain in March just as the Rights group said it was approached by atleast a dozen callers Yesterday requesting that we appeal to the Nigerian government and the British Prime minister to directly intervene and get this citizen of both Nigeria and Great Britain freed from what appears to be enforced disappearance and incarceration.

HURIWA has therefore accused the Benue State government of holding a citizen against her will which is against the chapter 4 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 as amended in addition to being in gross violations of relevant Articles of the International Covenants on civil and political rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) specifically from Articles 1 to 5 thus: Article 1.All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood;Article 2; Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty;Article 3.Everyone has the right to life, liberty and secitizen.curity of person;Article 4.No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms and Article 5. Which provides that: “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.

HURIWA has therefore canvassed an end to the torture of this citizen.

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