Rights group lists extra-judicial killings in Abia, demands speedy investigation

Posted by News Express | 11 September 2020 | 600 times

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•Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State

Worried by the persistent extrajudicial execution/other security issues, Foundation for Environmental Right Advocacy and Development (FENRAD), a human rights organisation, is asking the Abia State Government to set up an Inter-ministerial Task Team to checkmate the ugly trend.

FENRAD noted that “human life is precious and as such, the life of every citizen of Abia State should not be wasted by the security agencies: Police, Army, Civil Defense, among others.”       

The rights group said in a statement signed by Comrade Nelson Nnanna Nwafor, Executive Director and Barr. Olusegun Bamgbose, Head Legal Team: “Most disheartening of these extrajudicial execution in the state is that those security agents who perpetuate these acts are not properly investigated with a view to meting out proper punishment on them aside from arresting them and discharging them from service, pointing out that this cannot not be equated with the killing of a defenseless citizen.”     

Highlighting some of the killings, the statement issued on Thursday noted as follows: “A case in hand is the various extrajudicial killings in Aba which up till today, proper judgment is yet to be served on these happy trigger officers. FENRAD adds that the reason why this extrajudicial killing has persisted is that these officers are not served with punishments that are in tandem with their offense.            

“On April 5, 2020, during the state lockdown, FENRAD recalls that an officer of the Nigeria Police Force named Inspector Stanley Asu of the Abia State Command, who then was attached to Ohuru Isimiri Police Station Aba team enforcing the said lockdown shot a citizen identified as Mr. Chibisi to untimely death. The deceased, Mr. Chibisi, FENRAD gathers, was working with Green Mark Energy Filling Station near Oruruka off Ogbor Hill, Aba in Obingwa LGA on the said date. Equally does FENRAD remember the press release from State Command’s Public Relations Officer, SP Geoffrey Ogbonna, declaring the incident as not “a deliberate act but a case of accidental discharge”.

“Though Inspector Stanley was in due time taken into custody of the State Criminal Investigation Department, (SCID), the last about him and his case has yet to be heard.

Again, barely 10 days after the Oruruka incident, another tragic death occurred on April 15, 2020, when and where one Mr. Amobi Igwe, an indigene of Ishiagu in Ebonyi state was shot dead, this time by an officer of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) named Eke Richard. The sad thing about this incident was the fact that Mr. Amobi Igwe, a driver, was reportedly said to be on essential duty conveying food stuff to place(s) of demand or need – as the Covid-19 protocols allowed – when this shocking event happened.

“Though Corps state commandant, Mr. Nnamdi Nwachukwu, denied that the said driver was carrying essentials as earlier reported, it beggars belief that fairness and justice are the rules rather than exception since he (Nwachukwu) failed to clearly establish that the driver was on an illegal duty. What, however, remains sad before the well-meaning Abians is the fact that since Eke Richard was taken into custody, again, nothing has been heard about his prosecution and trial except that like Stanley Asu, he too was remanded in the facility of State Criminal Investigation Department, State CID for short.

“FENRAD does not conveniently forget the brutal murder of Mr. Ifeanyi Friday Arunsi on Friday, April 17, 2020 in Ebem Ohafia which, sadly, triggered a public protest whereupon police station, public properties and chattels were set ablaze by an angry mob. Though it bemoans the ruckus and riot that followed the Ebem Ohafia killing, FENRAD cannot bring itself to believing that the said policemen were off duty on the fateful day as the release signed by former state commissioner of police posited. Why?

“The police officers who had altercation with Mr. Friday and his colleagues before returning to the scene of the mayhem to shoot Mr. Friday on that sad day were said to be "drunk". FENRAD has not, to this day, understood why a police armourer would assign guns to drunk or off duty men of the Force and Command. Like the two cases earlier cited, nothing has been heard of these “drunken” officers, too.                             

“On the 8th of September, 2020, one Mr Onyekachi A. Nwogu allegedly gunned down by an officer of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Inspector Robinson Otobong Abel (M), attached to the Akwa Ibom State Command of the Corps. Worrisome also, is the fact that Mr  Onyekachi A. Nwogu was gunned down by the security agent right in front of his compound at Umuokoro Umuokpo Village along Aba-Ikot Ekpene Road, Aba, on the said day.

“Perturbed by this incident and many others in the past, FENRAD is of the view that if proper judgment is served on these Officers, extrajudicial killings would be a reoccurring decimal in Abia State.”

The statement continued: “Going forward, FENRAD urges the Abia State government led by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu (PhD), to as a matter of urgency, set up an Inter-ministerial Task Team on Extrajudicial Execution/other Security Issues, stressing that the Team will gather the reports of the execution and follow it up till proper judgments and justice is served on these happy trigger officers.”          

The group suggested that this Task Team which will headed by the State Attorney General will liaise with State Human Rights commission, Nigerian Bar Association, Human Rights Organization  including the high command of these security agencies in stemming the tide of extrajudicial killings in the state.

“To this end do FENRAD calls for speedy and public trial of the named erring officers and as well publicity of same when done. The judiciary is the last hope of the common man; such hope now hinges on what the state justice machinery can do by keeping Abians abreast and also by ensuring speedy trial.

“FENRAD believes that justice is not farfetched as with the Attorney General who shall use his good offices to ensure that Abians are in the know of what justice is in the stage for the collective good of Abians,” the statement added.




Source: News Express

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