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HURIWA tasks NASS on instituting judicial panel on alleged military onslaught, killings in South-east 

By Bertram Nwannekanma
12 September 2022   |   4:38 am
Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), yesterday, urged relevant human rights and judicial committees in both chambers of the National Assembly

[files] National Assembly. Photo/facebook/TopeBrown/NigerianSenate

Deplores lack of collective actions by South-east governors against insecurity, kidnappings 

Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), yesterday, urged relevant human rights and judicial committees in both chambers of the National Assembly to institute a judicial panel of inquiry to probe the outrageous onslaught and alleged killings of civilians in the South-east geopolitical zone.

   
HURIWA’s national coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, expressed worry over the spate of well-coordinated kidnappings by suspected armed herdsmen in Imo River Bridge near Umunna Okigwe, Enugu/Lokpanta/Okigwe Roads and many instances of kidnappings in Owerri and other urban centres of the Igbo speaking Southeast of Nigeria.
 
The rights group stressed the urgent need for governors, political stakeholders and traditional institutions to collectively brainstorm and work out implementable measures to check the growing threats to the security of the Southeast by suspected armed terrorists.          

According to HURIWA, the continuous successes recorded by these terrorists demonstrate the failures of the security forces or are they deliberate acts by heads of the security agencies domiciled in the Southeast and controlled by the President to continue to do nothing whilst security, law and order take a turn for the worst, leading to the eventual economic collapse of the Igbo states.
 


“From military exercises to other independent onslaughts, military men have allegedly committed extrajudicial killings in the Southeast geopolitical zone, going by accounts of witnesses.
   
“The military must face reality and painfully face the truth about extrajudicial killings by its officers deployed in the Southeast especially in the last two years.
 
“Amnesty International captured the extrajudicial killings in the Southeast when it said at least 115 innocent persons were tagged ‘militants’ and killed by security forces between March and June 2021 in the five states in the zone.
 
“Also, Intersociety alleged in January that state actors including police, soldiers, and DSS operatives, among others, killed about 1,400 residents and torched about 1,000 homes in 100 South-east communities within 14 months. There are other scores of unreported cases. These are allegations made with empirical evidence just as what is required is for a proper investigation to be carried out to ascertain the veracity or otherwise and if established as being factually accurate, then the perpetrators in uniform are identified and made to face the wrath of the law, so impunity is not institutionalised. 
 
“HURIWA tasks relevant institutional platforms such as the National Assembly’s committees on public petitions, Judiciary and Human Rights to institute an independent judicial commission of inquiry so that the panellists can cross-examine witnesses including families of victims and eyewitnesses to get to the root of the groundbreaking allegations of extraneous killings by the military, police and the Department State Services (DSS) in the South-east over the past seven years as reported by Intersociety, Amnesty International and others.”