By Evelyn Usman
Renowned Security expert, Dr. Ona Ekhomu has called on the Federal Government to urgently constitute a special Task Force to investigate the recent killing of 13 persons at St. Philip’s Catholic Church, Ozubulu, Anambra State, with a charge to unravel the case within 90 days.
Ekhomu , in a statement issued yesterday in Lagos, suggested that the special task Force should include police detectives, intelligence officials, forensic scientists and behavioral psychologists. In addition, two lawyers from the Federal Ministry of Justice and one lawyer from the Anambra State Ministry of Justice according to him, should be included as members, adding that it should be chaired by a no-nonsense judge from the Anambra State Judiciary.
Noting that the Ozubulu Massacre was a test case of the willingness and ability of the Federal government to protect all citizens, pointed out that protecting citizens goes beyond condemning acts of violence or describing how sacrilegious the attack was but arresting the perpetrators and trying them for culpable homicide.
He said : “ Leaving such high profile mass murder case in the hands of local police personnel is counter-productive and counter-intuitive. Already, many crime scene procedures have been neglected, the crime scene contaminated, evidence not collected with proper chain of custody, etc. The crime scene procedural errors that were made on August 6, 2017 will have implication on the detection and successful prosecution of the killers. Bullet–casings from that crime scene should have been gathered to enable a determination of the type of weapon used in the active-shooter incident”.
Continuing, he said : “The human rights of all the dead must be redressed. They did not choose to die. Life was snuffed out of them. They must be avenged” he added.
He therefore, advised government to set up what he called ‘ tips hotline’ for the mass murder case as well as announce a bounty for information that could lead to the arrest of the perpetrators. He said “ there should be daily progress briefing of the public by the Special Task Force because the public has a right to know the progress of the case in order to be enrolled and become part of the investigative process. Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo should take a principled stand on this massacre by immediately assembling and swearing in the Special Investigative panel. The effluxion of time is not very helpful in a homicide investigation as witnesses start to forget details, evidence get destroyed and the perpetrators run further away from the proverbial long arms of the law.”