May 24, 2024
IPLA condemns the incessant attacks on Izombe Community, calls for disbandment of vigilante groups
S4C enjoins Imo State Government on Implementation of the recommendations of the Commission’s of Inquiry on Police Brutality
– By Godswill Odiong

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The Imo Progressive Lawyers Association (IPLA) has condemned the operations of Ebubeagu vigilante group in Imo State after it alleged to have invaded Umuokwu and Ugbele clans in Izombe community recently, destroyed several properties and inflicted machete cuts on anyone in sight.

In a statement obtained by the www.daily-ng.com, Chris Okeke (Esq), President, Imo Progressive Lawyers Association (IPLA) stated that  the attacks are a gross violation of the fundamental human rights of the people as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended), particularly their right to life, right to dignity of human persons and right to private and family life.

The statement read: “barely one month after allegedly killing about 7 unarmed young men on their way back from a traditional marriage in Otulu community near Awonmma in Oru East LGA Imo State, the Ebubeagu vigilante group is once again in the news for human rights abuse. The group is From a reliable sources in the community, it was gathered that Ebubeagu vigilante group stormed Izombe armed to the teeth, shooting sporadically into the air, setting ablaze buildings, shops and cars parked by the roadside while community members scampered for safety. The attack resulted in several persons sustaining various degrees of injuries from gun shots and machete cuts. As at the time of this report, about 7 vehicles parked by the roadside, 18 fully stocked shops located in the commercial centers of Umuokwu and Ugbele Izombe and 4 residential building were set ablaze by the members of the group.

“It is pertinent to note that the Izombe Community especially Umuokwu Clan is yet to recover from the loss suffered in October 2021, when the community was invaded by soldiers from 34 Artillery Brigade Obinze, who destroyed over 150 buildings in Umuokwu, Umuorji and Ndioko over a dispute with some youths in the community that resulted in loss of lives. Till date, no remedial actions have been taken by Imo State or the Nigerian Army, to assuage the loss and damage suffered by the victims, yet Ebubeagu group launched a fresh attack on same community. This is one attack too many. Though a Commission of Inquiry was set up in February 2022, by the Imo State Government to receive and document complaints from the above security breaches and other related matters in the State, the recommendation of the Commission is yet to receive the desired attention from the State Government.

 

“The incessant invasion and destruction of lives and properties of members of Izombe Community by a security outfit set up by the government must stop. The attacks are a gross violation of the fundamental human rights of the people as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended), particularly their right to life, right to dignity of human persons and right to private and family life. We also condemn the repeated attacks on other parts of Orlu Senatorial Zone by Ebubeagu vigilante group and call on Governor Hope Uzodinma to expedite action in commissioning an independent investigation into the activities of Ebubeagu group and the gross violation of human rights and destruction of properties allegedly perpetuated by the group in Izombe, Awommanma, Njaba, Osu and other parts of the State, unmasking the culprits behind these heinous crimes against humanity and ensure that they are prosecuted accordingly”. The President  said.

He called on the Government of Imo State to live up to her responsibility of securing lives and property of Imo citizens.

“Security operatives must ensure that only persons involved in a crime are arrested to face the law rather than destroy properties of innocent and peace loving members of any community in the course of carrying out their duty”. He said.

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