By Bimbola Oyesola, [email protected]
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has described the recent acquittal and vindication of former President of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, by the United Nations Human Rights Committee as victory for the working class of the world.
Charging Brazilian workers not to despair, president of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba, said the workers should, rather, be inspired by the latest wave of vindication for President Lula and ensure that it buoys the fully blown sail of Comrade Lula’s aspiration to become the next President of Brazil when the reign of President Jair Bolsonaro comes to an end.
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“Our compatriots in Brazil should also be on the watch to ensure that no conspiracy of the ruling establishment derails a political victory already venerated by the vindication of President Lula,” the NLC president said.
The congress noted that the workers of Brazil should equally not be dejected at the terrible ordeals of Lula in the hands of organised capitalists and their neo-liberal agents: “The Nigeria Labour Congress rejoices with President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and felicitates with the global working-class solidarity on yet another acquittal and vindication of Lula’s innocence by not just a court in Brazil but the highest human rights adjudicatory body in the world, the United Nations Human Rights Committee.
“We expect that the recommendations of the UNHRC in May 2023 will deliver a final damning blow to the wind castles constructed by President Lula’s political enemies whose lies and subterfuge have been fully exhumed.”
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Wabba noted that it was President John F. Kennedy who said, “Our goal is not the victory of might but the vindication of right,” noting that the statement resonates perfectly with the odyssey of another President, Lula da Silva, the 35th President of the Federal Republic of Brazil and former president of CUT Brazil, the counterpart of the NLC.
Lula da Silva was elected President of Brazil in 2002 and re-elected in 2006 on the platform of the Workers’ Party by unprecedented vote margins.
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The NLC explained that, in Lula’s two terms as President of Brazil, he implemented some of the most extensive and progressive social welfare intervention public programmes, including the famed Bosla Familia and Fome Zero. Wabba said the programmes helped to remove about 20 million Brazilians from poverty.
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Wabba said, “Not comfortable with Lula’s surging popularity, which also saw the election of his Chief of Staff, Dilma Rousseff, as his successor in office, right wing politicians schemed on framing Comrade Lula with trumped-up charges of official corruption.
“In the now infamous Car Wash Corruption Investigation initiated by the Federal Police of Brazil’s Curitiba branch and headed by Judge Sergio Moro, Lula was subjected to a most invasive and repulsive investigation. Despite Lula’s repeated appeals that his trial was stage-managed to arrive at a certain conviction and confinement to imprisonment, the trial judge went ahead to fulfill all the witch-hunting claims made against Lula. Consequent on Lula’s unjust conviction by Sergio Moro’s kangaroo trial, he was excluded from participating in the 2018 Brazilian general election.”
According to the NLC president, the unfair trial and unjust incarceration of Lula da Silva was rejected and contested by the global working-class solidarity.
“This was owing to revelations and cruel happenstances that trailed his conviction, including the appointment of Sergio Moro who led the witch-hunt against Lula as the Minister of Justice and Public Security by the greatest beneficiary of Lula’s political travails, Bolsonaro.
“Owing to persistent outcry and protests by various labour centres affiliated to the International Trade Union Confederation, including the Nigeria Labour Congress, the truth finally prevailed.”
Wabba noted that, in November 2019, the Supreme Federal Court of Brazil ruled that Lula’s incarcerations with pending appeals was unlawful and, consequent on this ruling, he was released from prison: “The great march of the truth had just begun! In March 2021, Brazil’s Supreme Court Judge, Justice Edson Fachin, ruled that all of Lula’s convictions must be nullified because he was tried by a court that did not have proper jurisdiction over his case.
“Fachin’s ruling, which was confirmed by other Supreme Court Justices in April 2021, restored Lula’s political rights to contest for any political office of his choice. The Supreme Federal Court ruled also in March 2021 that Judge Moro who oversaw Lula’s corruption trial, was biased. It was on this premise that a Magistrate in Brazil’s Supreme Court on 24th June 2021 annulled all the charges brought against Lula.