By; AMOS TAUNA, Kaduna
The Council of Arewa Chiefs, Lagos State, has called for the immediate and unconditional release of Sarkin Hausawa of Lagos and Chairman of the Council of Chiefs, Alhaji Aminu Idris Yaro with his wife by the Department of State Services (DSS) describing the detention “an unlawful detention”.
The council noted that he be granted immediate access to legal representation, medical attention and family members, saying that in the alternative, present him for cognizance by a competent court of law in accordance with the provisions that invalidate the indefinite detention of persons without trial.
A statement issued and made available to New Nigerian in Kaduna on Monday by the Yerima Shettima, the Jarman Lagos, said, “Traditional rulers will first need to be accorded commensurate respect, their emasculation, maltreatment and harassment has to be ended and their revered place of respect assured assured before we can place any hope in them to do anything meaningful in the community.”
It added that while the Council of Arewa Chiefs is very much aware of the obligations on every Nigerian to assist government agencies and institutions in the all-important fight against corruption within the laws of the land, and in building a nation united around the values of justice and honest enterprise, it nevertheless shall remain firm in the belief that security agencies are as much deserving of respect in the same manner the traditional institutions demand to be respected.
According to the statement, the Council of Arewa Chiefs and Arewa Community in the South-West as well as every decent Nigerian and institution in Nigeria can without a doubt attest to the Sarkin Hausawa’s credibility, leadership, sacrifice, statesmanship, patriotism and unwavering commitment to the interests of the people of Northern Nigerian in the South, and citizens of Nigeria as whole, stressing that
he is as well known never to lower the bar where the interests of the North, the unity and security of Nigeria, or the welfare of all citizens are involved.
The Council said it was concerned that the DSS might typically be used to hunt down respected leaders of community using terrorism fight as smoke screen, stressing that it does not dispute the prerogative of the DSS and any security service in the country to invite any person it deems useful for any of its investigations, but found the detention of the Sarkin Hausawa incommunicado and beyond the lawfully allowed 24 hours by the DSS, repugnant to the sensibilities of the traditional rulership system, the Arewa community and the Council of Chiefs.
The Council of Arewa Chiefs alleged that the Sarkin Hausawa is being held in connection with the ongoing investigation of the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele.