Mbarak Bala: Open letter to President Buhari.
At the end of April 2021, we reported that Mubarak Bala had been detained in Kano, Nigeria for a full year without being charged and without being brought to court. For most of that time, he was denied access to his lawyers.
His lawyers filed a Fundamental Rights Enforcement petition on May 8, 2020 and a court ordered Mubarak’s release on December 21, 2020. Kano State did not comply with the Court Order.
On January 28, 2021, Mubarak’s lawyers filed a second Fundamental Rights Enforcement petition. According to the law, such an application must be treated as an emergency but, following delays and prevarication, this case has still not been heard in court, 243 days later. Mubarak has now been held for 517 days without a court appearance.
It has also emerged that Mubarak has an ongoing medical condition that requires regular medication. Despite requests, he has been denied access to a doctor and denied medication. His condition has worsened in recent months and he has been feeling very unwell.
Our next move
Whilst Mubarak’s legal team battle to have his fundamental rights case heard, FRF decided to launch a campaign to put pressure on President Buhari directly. After all, this case is a clear and egregious breach of human rights that is occurring on his watch. And the case is playing out on the international stage and bringing Nigeria into disrepute.
We drafted an open letter to Buhari and today we placed a full-page ad in the Punch newspaper to give the letter a wide distribution. The open letter was sent to the President, to Senators, and to leading news outlets.
The letter listed the failures of Kano State to respect Mubarak’s constitutionally guaranteed rights and asked Buhari to intervene:
- To instruct the Federal Attorney-General to deal with the case as an emergency it is.
- To transfer Mubarak to a correctional facility in Abuja where he can be close to his wife, child, and lawyers and to ensure his lawyers have adequate access to him.
- To ensure Mubarak gets access to a doctor and to the medication he needs.
Now the President cannot deny knowledge of Kano State’s mistreatment of Mubarak Bala. A copy of the advertisement is attached.
If you can help with Mubarak’s case, please get in touch: contacts