Owerri killing: Lawyer writes National Human Rights Commission


National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)

National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)

Mr. Charles Mbalisi, an Abuja based legal practitioner has petitioned the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) over the demolition of Eke Ukwu, a market in Owerri, Imo.

A copy of the petition was made available to newsmen by Mbalisi in Abuja on Tuesday.

He also petitioned the NHRC on the alleged killing of a 10-year-old boy in the process.

The governor of Imo, Mr Rochas Okorocha, and nine others were named in the petition.

The boy, Somtochukwu Ibeanusi, was reported to have been killed by a stray bullet while several others were said to have sustained various degrees of injuries during the demolition on Aug. 26.

In the petition dated Aug. 29, Mbalisi asked the commission to investigate the involvement of the Imo Government, the Nigeria Police Force, Commissioner of Police in Imo and the Nigerian Army.

Also, he urged NHRC to investigate the Brigade Commandant, Nigerian Army Brigade, Owerri, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Imo Security Network and Imo Community Watch.

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Mbalisi said the NHRC was empowered by Section 6 (1), (2) a, b, and c of its Act to conduct investigations and enquiries in a complaint of human rights abuse of this nature.

“Section 33 (1) of the Nigerian Constitution, says the boy has the constitutional right to life and that right has been deprived.

“That is why we have brought this to the human rights commission.

“The commission has every constitutional right to investigate and make inquiries in respect of the cause of the death of the boy.

“Anyone found culpable or liable will then be charged to court by the commission to ensure that justice is done.”

He said that the use of life bullets against harmless citizens in the course of demolition which led to the shooting and extra judicial killing of Ibeanusi was unwarranted, brutal, unprofessional and insensitive.

He said it was not in harmony with the ethics of effective policing in a civil society like Nigeria and should be investigated.