Foundation for Environmental Rights, Advocacy and Development (FENRAD), an environmental rights group, expressly wishes to demand for justice over incidents of extrajudicial killings that sadly attended the statewide lockdown to contain Covid-19 pandemic.
FENRAD recalls that in a bid to enforce the lockdown measure, lives of innocent citizens were lost cases of which are yet to be heard and decided. The Foundation, however, calls on the Commissioner of Police to, in the interest of fairness, ensure that justice is served expeditiously in the said cases as such can boost public confidence in the system.
On Monday, April 6, 2020, FENRAD recalls, the incident along Ururuka road in Obingwa LGA where one inspector Stanley of the Force shot dead citizen Chibuisi following an altercation. Also does FENRAD recall the tragic occurrence on Friday, April 17, 2020, in Ebem Ohafia where off duty men of the Force reported (according to the release of the state command) as “drunk” shot dead Mr. Friday Arunsi leading to unrest and destruction of chattels and public properties including court and correctional centre buildings.
Aside extrajudicial killings by men of the Force there occurred another ugly incident on April 16, 2020 at Umuikaa junction. This time, an officer of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, Eke Richards was said to have shot a motorist, Mr. Amobi Igwe, who died afterwards. There equally are many reports on unlawful detention, exploitation of motorists and tricyclists requiring probe but FENRAD understands that no measure of justice can outweigh that done in the listed cases where public trials of these officers are carried out.
For the record, it was gathered that Inspector Stanley – of the police – and Eke Richards – of the NSCDC were taken into police custody with State Criminal Investigation Department but what remains vague – and to the worry of FENRAD – is what justice is saying concerning these men including the “drunk” trigger-happy off duty men who shot Mr. Friday Arunsi at Ebem Ohafia. One question, concerning these “drunk” off duty men, that begs for answer has always been: “Who was the armourer that assigned drunk men with live weapons?”.
To this end, FENRAD, urges the commissioner to use his/her good offices to ensure that justice is properly dispensed and never denied. The good citizens of Abia are still wondering and at their wit’s end whether these men have gone through state’s prosecutorial proceeding; whether their cases have begun or have been swept under the carpet. FENRAD believes that the best that serves well the deceased and the bereaved even humanity is speedy trial and conviction (if found guilty) of these men.
Earnestly does FENRAD seek to be kept abreast of the latest development concerning these persons by the Honourable Commissioner.
Justice must not only be done, but must be seen to have been done.
Accept the assurances of our esteemed regards.
Comrade Nelson Nnanna Nwafor
Barr. Olusegun Bamgbose
Head legal Team.