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Regional News of Tuesday, 16 November 2021


Group blames Uzodinma over increasing cases of brutality against Imo youths

Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma

A group under the auspices of Imo Civil Society Community Human Rights Desk has slammed Governor Hope Uzodinma for failing to protect his subjects from alleged brutality, intimidation, and extortion in the hands of soldiers and policemen despite their complaints.

The group stated this on Tuesday in a jointly-signed communique by the Convener, Aku Obidinma; Barr. Mrs. Ngozi Iwu, Secretary; and Chinonso Uba, Spokesman, made available in Owerri, Imo State, shortly after a meeting that was attended by some victims who narrated their ordeal.

The group condemned what it called the inactive and lukewarm attitude of the Nigerian Bar Association chapters in the state in the face of massive lawlessness by the police and the military.

They said, “owing to alarming reports on the disturbing cases of brutality against civilians, intimidation, and extortion of young people among others on the part of the military and the Police, an emergency meeting of all the civil society groups and pro-democracy elements in Imo state was convened.”

The communique reads, “Having listened to the accounts of the victims and responses from members, the Civil Society Human Right Complain Desk is now set up to receive complaints of human right violations so as to assist victims to seek redress.

"Civil Society Community shall compile all verified cases of human right violations and extortions after which a strong-worded petition will be written to the UN Human Rights department, The British and American Embassies, The European Union, African Union, and ECOWAS to press for sanctions and visa restrictions on the identified perpetrators of these human right violation crimes and their commanders.

“We shall also petition Amnesty International, Human Right Watch, relevant Senate and House of Representatives committees, Defense Headquarters, service chiefs, IGP, and any other relevant body.

"We are shocked that the NBA who ordinarily should be championing the course of liberty and justice in the state cannot be seen or felt in any of these cases.”

The group said,” We seek the collaboration of the media, Federation of Women Lawyers, FIDA, Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, and other professional bodies in the course of our struggle for justice.”

“We call on religious leaders, traditional rulers, and town union presidents to rise up to the occasion of speaking out against the unprofessional conducts of the police and the military in the state.”

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