A coalition of more than 70 labour and civil society organisations (CSOs) says Kaduna State Governor Nasir El Rufai lacks the power to declare the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba wanted.
The Alliance on Surviving Covid 19 and Beyond (ASCAB) also described as laughable the decision by Mr El-Rufai to declare Wabba and other leaders of the NLC wanted.
ASCAB in a statement on Tuesday by human rights lawyer Femi Falana said Mr Wabba and other labour leaders have the unquestionable rights to participate in the peaceful warning strike and mass protests against further retrenchment of workers in the Kaduna State public service as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution and the Trade Union Act.
“The Miscellaneous Offences Act is not a state statute but a federal enactment. To that extent, if Governor El Rufai has evidence that Comrade Wabba and other labour leaders have contravened any provisions of the Act he is required to lodge a complaint in any of the police stations in Kaduna State. The Governor lacks the power to declare any alleged offender wanted under the Act or any other law whatsoever,” the statement signed by the senior lawyer read.
“Furthermore, since Comrade Wabba and other labour leaders are entitled to the fundamental right of fair hearing including presumption of innocence guaranteed by section 36 of the Constitution the Governor of Kaduna lacks the power to declare them wanted.”
ASCAB however called on Nigerian authorities including the country’s Police Force and other security agencies to ignore the illegal statement credited to Governor El Rufai.
By Abel Ejikeme