Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy Group- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has condemned the comical naming of the former governor of Imo State and Senator representing Orlu Senatorial District of Imo State Rochas Okorocha and his Son in law Uche Nwosu as the purported sponsors of the spate of unprecedented violence and killings that have happened in the state over the past few Months.
The Rights group said the Imo State government has dabbled into the arena of politics and superiority battles by dragging security matters that is a life and death issues to the banality of politics and petty squabbles just as the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) said there is no constitutional democracy anywhere in the World whereby security is reduced to the petty plaything of political rivalries. HURIWA urged the Imo State Government to abide by the principle of Rule of law and allow all citizens accused of any offence to have his day in the Courts of competent jurisdiction since the government of Imo State cannot be the accuser, the judge and the prosecutor in its own case.
HURIWA expressed doubts that the Inspector General of Police will be able to maintain neutrality if he to takes over the investigations of the circumstances and individuals responsible for the spate of bloodshed in Imo State because the Government of Imo State has reduced this sensitive matter of law and order to a mere political comedy which must never be allowed before the entire Country is rubbished in the comity of nations. The group said the police is also a suspect in the state of attacks by the so called Unknown gunmen in Imo State.
“We urge the National hierarchy of the security forces to be professionally committed which they are not at the moment and to independently handle the critical matter of bringing to justice the individuals who may be responsible for the incessant attacks. Indeed we urge the President and the National Assembly to intervene and set up an independent team of forensic investigation experts drawn from all around the World to gather evidence and to determine those responsible for the killings. This is because it would seem that the Nigerian Police Force through the security attaches to the Imo State government are heavily compromised and may contaminate any probe by the Inspector General of Police who sent them to Imo State in the first place.”
HURIWA recalled that the Imo State Government on Tuesday, said that suspects have named Senator Rochas Okorocha and ex-governorship candidate, Uche Nwosu as sponsors of bandits and kidnappers.
Governor Hope Uzodinma’s Chief Press Secretary, Oguwike Nwachuku, in a statement, said the duo were funding violence in the State.
Okorocha and Nwosu were specifically accused of fuelling “kidnapping, banditry and arson”.
Nwosu, Okorocha’s son-in-law, was a Deputy Chief of Staff and Action Alliance (AA) Imo governorship candidate in 2019.
“Okorocha and Nwosu have been specifically mentioned by suspects who are in the custody of security agents, as being sponsors of kidnapping and banditry in Imo State, using their relationship with former ex-militants to perpetrate the crimes,” he alleged.
Nwachuku said that news of the alleged arrest of the security officers attached to Uzodimma was being spread by the duo with the aim of stopping the governor’s vow to expose the identities of those behind insecurity and other forms of criminality in Imo.
“The current media frenzy by both Rochas Okorocha and Uche Nwosu appears to be strengthening the notion of their culpability.
“The duo have resorted to publishing falsehood yet again about security officers in the State Government House.
“Their claim of the arrest and detention of a certain Shaba, whom they falsely allege to be the CSO to the Imo State Governor is strange as the Governor’s CSO is not known by the name of Shaba,” he said.
Nwachuku maintained that no security officer in the Governor’s security team was either arrested or is currently unaccounted for.
He said instead of clearing their names, they appear bent on using both overt and covert means to blackmail the Police High Command, “which legitimately arrested Uche Nwosu.”
The public was then urged to ignore reports against the State government, as well as the “failed attempt to frustrate the Imo stakeholders’ meeting taking place on Tuesday”.
HURIWA however believed that the constitutional rights of the former governor and his Son in law who served Imo State for eight years as Chief of Staff and was a governorship aspirant in the 2019 Imo State gubernatorial poll have been egregiously breached by the lawless and reckless act of naming them as sponsors of violence because this Statement usurped the functions of the courts of competent jurisdiction as provided for in section 6 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 as amended. Section 6 of the Constitution states thus: “. (1) The judicial powers of the Federation shall be vested in the courts to which this section relates, being courts established for the Federation.” And section 36(5) states thus: “Every person who is charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed to be innocent until he is proved guilty;
Provided that nothing in this section shall invalidate any law by reason only that the law imposes upon any such person the burden of proving particular facts.”
HURIWA therefore condemned the resort to self-help measures by Government of Hope Uzodinma of Imo State in his politically motivated scuffle with the former governor and his faction of All Progressives Congress in Imo State.