Hon. Engr. Chijioke Okereke, the Federal lawmaker representing Aninri/Awgu/Oji-River Federal Constituency, has urged the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 13, Mr Tony Olofu, and the Enugu State Police Commissioner, Kanayo Uzuegbu, to launch a thorough investigation into the alleged killing of three suspected members of IPOB/ESN who attempted to enforce the banned’sit-at-home’ in Ezioha Mgbowo community, Awgu local government area of Enugu state, last Monday, September 18, 2023.
Hon. Okereke said the call became imperative due to contradicting reports released by several online media outlets and ongoing public uproar surrounding the incident, in order to determine the facts and the true nature of the occurrence.
The Federal Lawmaker noted that since the incident occurred, he has continued to receive calls from his constituents accusing security agencies of extra-judicial killings.
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According to him; ‘The series of claims and allegations on the incident which occurred at Ezioha Mgbowo community in Awgu local government area of Enugu state on Monday, September 18, is very worrisome.
The conflicting reports from the public and in some sections of the media, contradicting the statement credited to the spokesman of the security agencies is also confusing.
As a federal lawmaker who believes in the rule of law, I am pleading with the Inspector General of Police (IGP), AIG Zone 13 and the Enugu State Commissioner of Police to diligently carry out thorough investigations to unravel the circumstances behind the incident.’ He said.
Similarly, the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law through its leaders, Mr. Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman, Chinwe Umehe, Head Democracy and Good Governance, Obianuju Joy Igboeli, Head Civil Liberties and Rule of Law, accused the security agencies of unlawful killing.
The group demanded from the police and military authorities the summary of the alleged execution of the said IPOB members from the operation.
According to the NGO; “From our checks including contacts made to reliable sources in Mgbowo, the circumstances leading to the killings, including their timing, legal, and operational basis, have been mired in controversies.”
Earlier, in press statement made available to newsmen through the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Daniel Ndukwe (DSP), the Enugu State Police Command said that;
“At about 2.15am today, September 18, 2023, a joint security team, comprising SWAT Police Operatives of the Enugu State Command, NPF Special Forces, and Troops of the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army Enugu, acting on credible intelligence, busted the criminal hideout of IPOB/ESN subversive criminal elements in Ezioha Mgbowo in Awgu Local Government Area, while they were perfecting plans to enforce the illegal sit-at-home order in the State.
Three (3) of the hoodlums, who opened fire on the joint team upon sighting them, were neutralized, while several others escaped with severe degrees of gunshot wounds in the ensuing gunfight. Three (3) pump-action guns, ten (10) machetes, and other incriminating exhibits were recovered; while an intense manhunt for those on the run is ongoing.” The End