Press Release: Rule of Law: Odinkalu, Charlie Boy, 100 CSOs Want State of Emergency in Imo …Condemn Military Invasion of South East. 

Over one hundred Civil Society organisations in Nigeria have called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to declare a state of emergency in Imo State following the continued disobedience of the state government to Court orders, even as they condemned the deployment of the Military to the South-Eastern part of Nigeria through the Operation Python Dance 11.

Rising from a meeting at the Secretariat of the Nigerian Bar Association, Owerri, Saturday, held to review what they described as human rights emergency in the state, the groups expressed regrets over the gross abuse of rule of law by the government of the day in the state.

They further called on the Federal Government to set up a Commission of enquiry into the acquisition of communal land in the state.

On the demolition of Eke Ukwu Owerri market, despite a subsisting Court order, the groups frowned at the ignoble roles of security agencies in the state, even as they asked for an end to the ongoing demolition in Owerri and her environs.

“We demand an end to further demolitions in Owerri and environs and compensations paid to the victims.”

“Security officials involved in the unwholesome act should be identified and made to face the wrath of the law. They must desist from interfering in civil matters.”

“Imo State government should be prevailed upon to obey court orders. The Federal Government should set up a Commission of enquiry into the acquisition of communal land in the state.”

“The Federal Government should declare a state of emergency in Imo State to have normalcy restored in the state.” “Citizens should defend their rights and take to non-violent civil disobedience in an event that their rights are grossly violated.”

“The deployment of the military to the south-eastern part of Nigeria in the name of Operation Python Dance 11 is unacceptable and uncalled for. Has the provison of the Constitution been followed? Has the President given an approval for this? Has the National Assembly approved such a deployment? Is there a public disorder that overwhelms the Police to warrant the deployment of the military?”

Continuing, the group called for a probe into the activities of Imo Security Network by the Inspector General of Police, describing their activities and use of fire arms to harass innocent citizens as unacceptable.

Those present at the meeting were: popular musician and convener of ‘Our Mumu Don Do’ campaign, Charles Oputa and his group, representatives of the Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, former Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, Professor Chidi Odinkanu, founder, CLEEN Foundation, Innocent Chukwuma, National Coordinator, Network on Police Reforms in Nigeria, Okechukwu Nwanguma, President of Civil Liberties Organisation, Barrister Wisdom Durueke, Executive Director of Media Initiative against Injustice, Violence and Corruption-MIIVOC, Dr. Walter Duru and Citizens Center for Intergrated Development and Social Rights. Others are: Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association, Lawrence Nwakaeti, former Chairman, Imo State Civil Service Union, Chief Frank Amakwe, Chairman, Imo Bilie Initiative, Aku Obidimma, representatives of Owerri Council of Elders, community leaders, town union representatives, victims of Eke Ukwu Owerri demolition, representatives of the state council of Nigeria Union of journalists, among others. Walter Duru 9/9/2017


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