A Non-governmental organisation- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has condemned governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo state for flouting a subsisting order of an Imo State High Court by forcefully demolishing the Ancient EkeUkwu Market in Owerri leading to many fatalities.
HURIWA said the decision of the Imo State government to proceed with the demolition amounted to the institutionalisation of impunity even as it warned the Imo state governor not to assume that he is bigger than the collective citizens of the State nor is he above the laws as stipulated by the Constitution.
HURIWA accused governor Okorocha of illegal use of armed soldiers and mobile policemen to carry out a simple task of stopping possible breach of peace as a consequence of the controversial demolition of the longstanding market in the heart of Owerri city.
The Rights group said the action by the Imo state governor had been stridently opposed by the indigenes of Owerri who kicked against the plot to demolish the market and successfully secured a pending interlocutory Court’s Injunction to halt the demolition but which has been brazenly disrespected by the All Progressives Congress governor.
The Rights group specifically lamented the undue applications of high handedness by the armed security forces who deployed crude and violent tactics that resulted in the gunning down of unarmed protesters including Children young enough to be Governor Okorocha grandchildren.
HURIWA therefore called for the arrest and prosecution of the killer soldiers and police or else the governor would be held personally liable and dragged before the World’s crimes court to face charges of crimes against humanity.
The Rights group said the killings if not investigated and offenders arrested and prosecuted, then it would forward a petition to the International Criminal Court in The Hague Netherlands.
In a statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Director of Media Affairs Miss. Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA deplored the illegal action of the Imo state governor which precipitated social upheavals resulting in the extralegal executions of unarmed protesters by armed soldiers and mobile police deployed at the instance of a man who is in total breach of section 6 of the Constitution which grants the Judicial powers of the State to the Court of competent jurisdictions.
“We are worried by the widening spectre of lawlessness and absolute disregard for the Principle of Rule of law by elected and appointed political office holders.”
HURIWA also affirmed thus: “We condemn the dictatorial and lawless administration of Mr. Rochas Okorocha of APC for violating the sanctity of the Rule of law and thereby occasioning the gross violations of the sanctity of the lives of the citizens of Imo State who were gunned down for only lawfully kicking against the unlawful and criminal acts of Government of Rochas Okorocha”.
“We will take legal notice of these infractions and will report the matter to the International Criminal Court in The Hague Netherlands so governor Okorocha and his lackeys who committed the atrocities in the demolished Owerri township market can be prosecuted for crime against humanity if the Federal government of Nigeria fails to bring these brutes in military uniforms to face the consenquences of their unlawful killings”.
Shooting at unarmed civilians!!!
How many more, body bags are we going to count under APC government? ???
— Adetutu Balogun (@Tutsy22) August 26, 2017
HURIWA said: “We demand that the civil society community in Imo state should also proceed to press charges against identified armed security operatives who committed these daylight extrajudicial killings of protesters who posed no harm to anyone but who were simply ventilating their collective outrage at the unconstitutional act of the current Imo State governor. Those who occupy government posotions and believe that they will be there forever are deluding themselves and the likes of Okorocha must be reminded that political power is ephemeral and that the bloodshed that happened today will not go unpunished particular.