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‘Conflicting accounts on Ebonyi suicide bomb require forensic investigation’

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Emmanuel Onwubiko


The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has called for an independent forensic probe into the reported grenade explosion in Afikpo over alleged contradictory explanations by Ebonyi State Government and the police.

The group said it would not accept the official explanation given by the Ebonyi State government and the contradictory explanation by the police on the same incident.

HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, stressed that while the Ebonyi State Government called the incident an accidental explosion of a grenade in his (policeman’s) body, the police called it a teargas canister that exploded.

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The group noted that between the Ebonyi State Government and the police command in Ebonyi State that gave contradictory explanations on the same matter, one of them or both were lying, since there was a wide chasm between a grenade and a teargas canister.

This, it said, was because teargas wasn’t technically a “gas.” It’s a powder that is heated and mixed with a liquid or solvent and released from canisters as an aerosol. There are different types of teargas.

HURIWA said: “As a thinking being can decipher for himself/herself, can we ask these questions: are these two things – grenade and teargas – the same?

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“We want the Ebonyi State Governor, David Nweze Umahi, and commissioner of police to answer us because one of them or even the two of them have lied to us through their aides.

“Now, the bigger question is, assuming without conceding that the policeman was carrying a grenade, as we were told by the Ebonyi State Government, what is a lone, and indeed very low level policeman doing with a military grade weapon in a civilian area such as secondary school?

“Is Afikpo in a state of war and are the school premises the theatre of war? Supposing that the policeman was carrying a teargas canister that exploded and killed him, what was a policeman doing alone in a peaceful school environment with a teargas which exploded and killed him? Was there a riot in that school environment that only him went to quell?

“Ebonyi State Government and the Ebonyi State Police Command are twin evils and haven’t told Nigerians the whole truth and Nigerians should take their conclusion with a pinch of salt,” the group added.

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