Group cries out over incessant extra-judicial killings in Abia

Posted by News Express | 15 April 2020 | 482 times

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The Foundation for Environmental Rights Advocacy and Development (FENRAD) has condemned the recent killing of a motorist near Umuikaa Junction, Isialangwa South Local Government Area of Abia State.

The tragic incident, which reportedly occurred on April 15, 2020, stemmed from an altercation between policemen and the unfortunate driver. FENRAD said while it awaits the result of investigation of the matter, it stated that at no point has enforcement of the statewide lockdown and its attendant stay-at-home order required terminating of lives of Abians or residents.

Describing the incident “as sad, deplorable and condemnable,”  the rights group lamented that “at a time when the entire world is taking the war effort and campaign to the novel COVID-19, men of the security agencies whose sworn and constitutional duty is to protect lives and properties of indigenes and none indigenes within the state morbidly turn against their charges.”

The group in a statement by its Executive Director, Comrade Nelson Nnanna Nwafor, on Wednesday said: “We recall, with huge sense of sorrow, that the first one-week stay-at-home order also witnessed a killing of an unarmed civilian by an officer of the Police Force along Ururuka in Osisiomangwa L.G.A of the state. While FENRAD wishes not to witness further this harvest of deaths, it regrets to remind the security agencies that so far and as of today, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken no life in Abia where two have already been lost to trigger-happy formation and detachment of the police.

“Having said that, it bears repeating, and FENRAD emphasizes same in no less vocal and condemnatory tone, that right to life is naturally given and should never, at any point of extremity, be taken by any security agent except under such circumstances as allowed by the law which are express too.”

FENRAD recalled that recently, some lawyers were brutally manhandled by men of the Dragon Squad, Zone 6 Police, at Omoba Road, Ogbor-Hill area of Aba. It added that the torture involved clobbering and brutalising to the extent that severe injuries were inflicted on the victims. This, the group said, is obviously not how best to police a state more so Abians were never known to be unlawful and do not deserve this, especially from those entrusted with preservation of their lives and properties.

FENRAD also noted with dismay that except for a tepid statement, the Abia State Government has done little to ensure that lives of her indigenes and residents are protected, stressing that while the police officer who shot the victim, simply identified as Mr. Chibuisi along Ururuka road, is not at large, nobody is sure when his trial will commence and how expeditious same will be.

“Again, after the alleged police raiding and burning of residential houses at Ibadan and Okujombo streets, Aba, whereupon the government set up a high-powered committee to look into the matter, FENRAD wishes to recall that nothing has been heard of the said committee in terms of report and findings, at least to the best knowledge of the Foundation.” The group, therefore. urged the state government to do more in protecting the lives of those who elected it into office for the same reason rather than make itself a passive onlooker while things go wrong.

It said beyond the state government, through the Information, Chief John O. Okiyi, expressing “rude shock” over the incident, the government should “ensure that justice is done swiftly. Not only must justice be done; it must also be seen to be done.

FENRAD expressed worry that “even pressmen and newsmen on duty have fallen victims too. While myriad and plethora of records are available to this end, the case of the victimisation of staff of Abia Facts News suffices as one of the latest of such brazen nihilism. We aware of exploitation meted out (by mostly the police) against drivers of vehicles conveying food, relief and other essential materials at a time when the law permits essential services and delivery of same.

“FENRAD urges Abians to, in this trying time, remain law-abiding and respect constituted authorities, especially the state government while it equally urges the state government to rise to the occasion and do the needful. FENRAD believes and is equally convinced it can get things done better.

“We urge the police, and other security agencies to perationalise security services according to rules of engagement and desist from any acts capable of bringing shame to their respectable image.”

 

 

 


Source: News Express

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