By Dapo Akinrefon & Dennis Agbo
A group of Igbo socio-cultural think-tank, Nzuko Umunna, made up of Igbo professionals both at home and in the Diaspora, has urged Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State to set up a judicial panel of inquiry to unravel the immediate and remote causes of the Sunday massacre of Igbo youths in Enugu State, when Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, clashed with policemen.
Nzuko Umunna also asked the Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice Priscilla Emehelu, to urgently convene a coroner’s inquest “on the extra-judicial killings that would help arrive at the exact number of victims, with a view to bringing the perpetrators to justice.”
Coordinator of the group, Ngozi Odumuko, and Secretary, Paschal Mbanefo, in a statement on Monday, expressed “shock and concern over the extra-judicial killings that occurred on Sunday at Emene, Enugu State.”
Members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, had clashed with security agents on Sunday, leading to deaths.
Reacting, Nzuko Umunna, which commiserated with all the families that lost persons in the clash, stated that the mayhem involved (IPOB) Igbo youths and operatives of the Nigerian Police, Department of State Services, DSS, and Nigerian Army.
The group said: “Nzuko Umunna notes that there are widespread reports that these extra-judicial killings took place when security operatives invaded a peaceful meeting of the youths.
“Enugu State Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Abdurahman, conceded that many of the youths escaped with bullet wounds and that police had started tracking them.
“We note with grave concern the constant killing of unarmed Igbo youths by security operatives. This is unacceptable and must stop. However, we urge Igbo youths to refrain from retaliatory attacks.
“It is noteworthy that extra-judicial killings are a violation of the right to life as enshrined in Section 33 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999; Article 4 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, ACHPR, and Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, ICCPR.
“Nzuko Umunna commends Enugu State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for his prompt visit to the scene of the extra-judicial killings.
“In particular, we urge the governor to set up a judicial panel of inquiry to unravel the immediate and remote causes of these wanton killings, including the exact number of victims, with a view to bring the perpetrators to justice.
“Nzuko Umunna requests the Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice Priscilla Emehelu to urgently convene a coroner’s inquest on these extra-judicial killings.
“In finding a sustainable framework towards resolving the longstanding security challenges and extra-judicial killings in the region, we urge the South-East Governors Forum and the South-East Joint Security Committee to urgently activate the long-awaited regional security network to reassure citizens on the security of lives and property.”