Enugu: HURIWA Applauds NASS Probe into Alleged Human Right Violations

Enugu: HURIWA Applauds NASS Probe into Alleged Human Right Violations

The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has commended the National Assembly for its decision to launch a comprehensive investigation into the wide-ranging allegations of human rights violations and the alleged assassination of security agents in Enugu State, purportedly linked to land grabbers.

In a strong media statement issued on Friday, the prominent civil rights advocacy group praised the House Committee on Public Petitions for its bold move to address pressing allegations stemming from the petition submitted by concerned kindred families of Amechi Uwani and Obeagu Awkunanaw communities in Enugu State to ensure justice prevails and peace is restored in the affected communities.

“In a significant move towards upholding justice and addressing widespread concerns over alleged human rights violations and security threats in Enugu State, the National Assembly has initiated an investigation into the matter. The decision comes in response to a petition submitted by concerned kindred families of Amechi Uwani and Obeagu Awkunanaw communities, highlighting a series of disturbing incidents implicating the Nigeria Police Force and alleged land grabbers.

“According to the petition, the troubles began with the tragic murder of Sunday Ngene in December 2022, sparking a chain of events that has since plunged the communities into turmoil. Despite efforts by the traditional ruler and community members to seek redress through legal means, including petitions to the Inspector General of Police and peaceful protests, their grievances remained unaddressed.

“Of particular concern is the alleged collusion between certain elements within the Enugu State Police Command and the perpetrators of violence and land grabbing. The petitioners accused Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Akinbayo Olasoji of orchestrating a campaign of intimidation and harassment against the community, including arbitrary arrests and trumped-up charges.

“Moreover, the petition highlights instances where law enforcement personnel were reportedly deployed to facilitate the demolition of property and suppress dissenting voices, raising serious questions about the impartiality and professionalism of the police force,” HURIWA stated.

In response to these grave allegations, HURIWA has urged the House of Representatives to adopt a comprehensive approach to address the multifaceted issues raised in the petition. The organization emphasized the need for a thorough investigation to uncover the truth behind the reported atrocities and ensure that justice is served for the victims and their families.

“We applaud the National Assembly for taking proactive steps to investigate these egregious human rights violations. The House of Representatives must complete its resolution to ensure that perpetrators are held accountable and that measures are put in place to prevent future occurrences of such heinous crimes,” HURIWA emphasized.

Furthermore, HURIWA stressed the importance of collaboration between the federal and state governments in addressing the underlying causes of the conflict, particularly the contentious land dispute in Enugu State. The organization called for a holistic approach that involves meaningful engagement with all stakeholders, including affected communities, to achieve lasting peace and resolution of the ongoing crisis.

“As a human rights organization, we stand in solidarity with the affected communities and demand swift action to address their grievances. We urge the government at both the federal and state levels to prioritize the protection of human rights and uphold the rule of law in all its interventions.”

In conclusion, HURIWA called for the implementation of concrete and implementable measures by the Federal Government and the Enugu State government to bring about closure and a lasting resolution to all the contending matters raised in the petition. The organization reiterated its commitment to advocating for the protection of human rights and the promotion of peace and stability in Nigeria.

“Our advocacy efforts underscore the pressing need for accountability, transparency, and justice in addressing human rights violations and resolving conflicts in Nigeria. HURIWA remains committed to supporting the victims of violence and working towards the realization of a just and equitable society for all Nigerians,” HURIWA concluded.

*Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko*

National Coordinator

Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA)

March 22nd, 2024

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