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Disband Ebubeagu now, CSO urges Imo govt

By Innocent Anoruo
23 July 2022   |   3:54 am
A Civil Society Organisation (CSO), Spaces for Change (S4C) has called on the Imo State government to ban the Ebubeagu security outfit and save the lives of residents.

A Civil Society Organisation (CSO), Spaces for Change (S4C) has called on the Imo State government to ban the Ebubeagu security outfit and save the lives of residents.

In a statement by its Executive Director, Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri, yesterday, S4C strongly condemned the unlawful killing of unarmed citizens of Imo allegedly by Ebubeagu on Sunday, July 17, 2022. The victims were reportedly returning from a traditional wedding in Awo-Omamma area of the state.

But the state government had denied that Ebubeagu killed anybody, arguing that it was the Department of State Services (DSS) that killed some ‘bandits’ planning to disrupt socio-economic activities in the state the following day through sit-at-home enforcement.

S4C stated: “We call on the Hope Uzodimma-led government of Imo to live up to its responsibility of securing life and property of Imo citizens by disbanding the Ebubeagu vigilante group, which has done more harm than good since its inception.

“The incessant killings and massive human rights violations resulting from the activities of Ebubeagu and other vigilante groups must stop! The festering security crisis in Imo will leave citizens with no other choice than to resort to self-help.”

According to the civil society group, over the last few years, there have been countless atrocities like kidnappings, extra-judicial killings and destruction of properties linked to Ebubeagu and others.

It added: “S4C legal team is working with aggrieved families whose kin have fallen victim to these extra-judicial killings. One of such cases is that of Magnus Okoro and Chidozie Chukwu, two young men cut down in their prime by the Anti-kidnapping Squad of the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID).

“It is unconscionable that the government whose primary duty is to provide maximum security to life and property would turn around to be the one terrorising and unleashing continuous unprovoked attacks on citizens.”

The group also demanded an independent inquiry into the activities of Ebubeagu, ensuring that the perpetrators of crimes against humanity face the law.

“While setting up judicial commissions of inquiry are welcome developments, it is deeply concerning that the recommendations of such quasi-judicial bodies in Imo have never been implemented.

“More specifically, both the recommendations of the #EndSARS Judicial Commission and the just-concluded Judicial Commission of Inquiry to investigate security breaches in the state never saw the light of day. Justice for victims should neither be delayed nor compromised. We demand justice and nothing more, immediately!”