Nzuko Ummunna, an Igbo socio-cultural organization has asked the governor of Enugu state, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, to set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to look into the circumstances surrounding the killing of 22 unarmed youths by suspected security operatives in Emeni, Enugu State, and profer appropriate sanctions be meted out to the perpetrators.
The group recalled that on 23rd August 2020, persons suspected to be State Security officials opened fire on unarmed youths who were having various physical exercise/ trainings in Emeni, Enugu State and massacred them in cold blood.
In a letter to the governor jointly signed by solicitors of Nzuko, Edwin Anikwem Esq, and the Registered Trustees of Christian Network and Community Development, Dr. Sam Amadi, the group decried that the unprovoked attack and murder of innocent and unarmed indigenes of Enugu has caused unrest within Enugu and its environs as the citizens are living in fear of who may be the next victim.
“We wish to state that as the Chief Security Officer of Enugu State, one of your primary responsibilities is the protection of lives and properties of citizens of Enugu state.
“It is our belief that the execution of the above request will help to restore peace amongst citizens of Enugu State and its environs especially Emeni where the incident occurred”, the letter read.
The group, however, threatned to institute a legal action against the governor if he fails to set up the Judicial Commission of Inquiry as requested after four (4) weeks from the date of service of this letter.
“If you fail, neglect and/or refuse, we shall institute an action against you without further notice. The proposed reliefs to be sought are:
“A Declaration that the massacre of 22 unarmed youths who were various physical exercise/ trainings by the Police and Officials of Department of State Security Service on or about 22nd August 2020 violated Section 33(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal republic of Nigeria (as amended) and Article 4 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Cap A9 LFN 2004 which guaranteed right to life and prohibits the killing of human beings without an order of court.
“A Declaration that the extra judicial killing and/or massacre of 22 unarmed youths at Emeni by the officers of the Nigerian Police and Officials of Department of State Security Service on or about 22nd August 2020 violates the fundamental rights to life of the deceased and is therefore unconstitutional, illegal and unlawful.
” A Declaration that the failure and/or refusal of the Governor of Enugu State to set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to look into the unlawful killing of over 22 unarmed youths on or about 22nd August 2020 at Emeni Enugu State by persons suspected to be Security Officials amounts to a dereliction of duty.
“AN Order that under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Cap A9 LFN 2004, it is the duty of the Defendant (Governor of Enugu State) to protect and defend the life and properties of the people of Enugu State.
“An Order of Mandamus S compelling the Defendant (Governor of Enugu State) to set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to unravel the cause(s) of the unlawful and illegal killing of over 20 youths on or about 22nd August 2020 at Emeni Enugu.
“And Such Other Or Further Orders as the court may deem fit to make in the circumstance.”