Nzuko Umunna, an Igbo socio-cultural think tank made up of members resident in Nigeria and the diaspora, has condemned what it described as the extra-judicial killings of Igbo youths in Emene, Enugu State, on Sunday by members of the Nigerian Police, Department of State Services (DSS) and Nigerian Army.
The group in a statement yesterday jointly signed by its Coordinator, Ngozi Odumuko; and Secretary, Paschal Mbanefo, commiserated with families who lost their loved ones in the “latest bloodletting”.
Nzuko Umunna said it noted that there were widespread reports that the extra-judicial killings took place when security operatives invaded a peaceful meeting of the youths, while the Enugu State Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Abdulrahman conceded that many youths “escaped with bullet wound and police have started tracing 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 said.
The group, however, commended Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, for his prompt visit to the scene of the extra-judicial killings.
It particularly urged the governor to set up a judicial panel of inquiry to unravel the immediate and remote causes of the wanton killings including the exact number of victims, with a view to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Nzuko Umunna also requested the Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice Priscilla Emehelu, to urgently convene a coroner’s inquest on these extra-judicial killings.
According to the group, “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 (SEGF) 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.”