Killing Of Pro-Biafra Protesters: HURIWA To Demand Prosecution Of IGP By AGF

By Emmanuel Onwubiko

In an attempt to exhaust internal judicial process before stepping out to the global crime court in The Hague Netherlands to wage unrelenting crusade for prosecution for crimes against humanity following his specific instructions for armed policemen to shoot at unarmed civilian protesters in Onitsha Anambra State, a pro-Democracy Non-governmental organisation - HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA ) will today demand officially from the office of the Federal Attorney General and Minister of Justice for the prosecution of the Inspector General of Police Mr Solomon Arase.

The Rights group said it holds the nation's police Chief Mr Solomon Arase responsible for the killings of unarmed pro-Biafra protesters in Onitsha Anambra State who were attacked twenty four hours after the Inspector General of Police asked his armed operatives to quell the peaceful protests by supporters of the politically detained Director of the Europe Based Radio Biafra and leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Mr Nnamdi Kanu.

HURIWA has also for the umpteenth time demanded the unconditional release from the underground cells of the Department for State Security Services of the Director of the Europe Based Radio Biafra and leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra Mr Nnamdi Kanu.

HURIWA said it was deeply concerned that the Nigerian State has persistently violated and disrespected with ignominy several orders of the Court which granted bail to this prisoner of Conscience Mr Nnamdi Kanu. HURIWA calls on all right thinking Nigerians to call on President Muhammadu Buhari to release forthwith this PRISONER OF CONSCIENCE MR NNAMDI KANU.

Conversely, the Rights group said it has almost exhausted internal mechanisms through the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to initiate investigative hearings over the reported killings by armed soldiers of unarmed civilians including a shoe cobbler by soldiers in Aba Abia State.

HURIWA disclosed that it was displeased with the bureaucratic bottlenecks that characterized a subsisting petition against the Army Chief Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai which was submitted on behalf of the Rights group by the Senator representing Abia North Mr Enyinaya Abaribe and read on the floor of the Senate since three weeks now.

"We condemn the lacklustre approach to serious petitions against key military players in Nigeria by the Senate when the legislative chamber is empowered by the Nigerian law to employ legislative powers to restrain military and police chiefs from the gross abuse of office in the deployment of security operatives for internal security operations. We are shocked that the national assembly has done very little to ensure that global best practices and RULES OF ENGAGEMENT are complied with by armed security forces involved in internal security operations.

....This shameful approach must change. The legislature must clean up the human rights credentials of the Nigerian military by appropriately employing measures to name, Shame and recommend for judicial prosecution of indicted military and police chiefs who have continued to subject the public image of the Nigerian military and police to unmitigated opprobrium. "

In a statement signed jointly by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA said it was gravely disturbed that Mr Solomon Arase can abuse his privileged position by publicly ordering the vicious confrontation by his armed operatives against members of Indigenous People of Biafra and MASSOB who were peacefully demonstrating and demanding the immediate and unconditional release from the underground cells of the Department for State Security Services of Mr Nnamdi Kanu amongst other democratically lawful demands such as self rule permitted under international laws.

HURIWA said : " We have watched with trepidation and considerable worry the growing autocratic tendencies exhibited by the Military and Police Chiefs especially in the mode and methodology of internal security operations which are in flagrant violations of the Universal Declaration of Human rights on the Right to Peaceful assembly and association. The Inspector General of Police willfully instructed his armed operatives to deploy the use of violence to quell an otherwise peaceful protests which resulted in the alleged death of scores of civilian protesters a day after the IGP expressly gave this unlawful order.

We will be sending a letter to demand that within 21 days that the Chief law officer of Nigeria initiate a criminal charge of multiple murder against the police chief for the killings of civilian protesters few days back in Onitsha Anambra State including a female Student of a tertiary institution in Anambra state following a violent confrontation against unarmed civilian protesters by armed police alongside other sister security agencies.

For now, there are published evidence to show that armed policemen were unleashed on these civilian protesters just few hours after a nationwide warning issued by the Inspector General of Police. If at the end of the 21 days notice the police chief isn't brought to justice then we will alongside our partners in the civil society community around the World decide on the next logical line of action to ensure that those whose precious lives were recklessly terminated are not allowed to die in vain. We are determined to wage consistent crusade against all traces of impunity and misuse of official power by police and military chiefs in Nigeria."

"We are determined to demand that Nigerians be allowed to exercise their constitutionally guaranteed fundamental human rights enshrined in chapter four of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Democracy can't thrive in Nigeria if the Right to protest peacefully is abridged arbitrarily by those in governmental and command positions. All authorities and persons are obliged to comply with the provisions of the constitution."