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Unmask invaders of Imo’s Anglican Church for prosecution, HURIWA tells security forces



 Unmask invaders of Imo s Anglican Church for prosecution HURIWA tells security forces

Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has called on the Nigerian Army, Department of State Service (DSS) and the Nigeria Police Force to reveal the identities of the security operatives that invaded an Anglican Church in Imo State in December, 2021 and present them for prosecution.

National Coordinator of HURIWA, Emmanuel Onwubiko, said the invaders of the worship centre during a church service should face the same fate as those that stormed Justice Mary Odili’s residence that are now facing prosecution.

The rights group made the call at a media briefing on Wednesday in Abuja.

READ ALSO:Uche Nwosu: Those who invaded church to arrest me were speaking Hausa, says action politically motivated

“HURIWA have come to you today to send just one message to the relevant authorities in the Nigeria Army, the DSS and importantly, the Nigeria Police Force that owned up to the infamous, brutality, primitive and unwarranted armed invasion of the place of worship during the Christmas period in the South-East of Nigeria in hot pursuit of a perceived political enemy of the governor of Imo State and the son-in-law of the former governor of Imo State and the current Senator for Imo West Senatorial District, Chief Rochas Okorocha- Mr.Uche Nwosu, who was at the Church for the solemn ceremony of thanksgiving worship following the final rites that his family gave to their departed matriarch.

“Our demand is simple- produce these armed operatives some if whom brazenly invaded the altar shooting sporadically and dispersing the frightened worshippers some of whom apart from the psychological and emotional traumatic experiences, could have been shot if some of the bullets had landed on them as they were made to stampede out of the Church in fear that the hooded invaders who wore no identifiable uniform or name tags were unknown gunmen that have been ravaging the Southeast of Nigeria.

“We all saw how this unprovoked invasion of the Church in Imo got international opprobrium and we saw the waves of condemnation from Nigeria including but not limited to even the Imo State government who blamed the police for invading the Church.

” We all also saw the repercussions of the brazen violent attacks and invasion of the Abuja home of the Supreme Court of Nigeria’s second in Command Justice Mary Odili and the consequential arrests of some of these invaders and recently the police charged them in court.

“The Offences of the invaders of the Anglican Church in Imo State is wealthier because unlike in the Mary Odili’s home invasion by those rogue elements led by an alleged CSP who was later denied by the police, the police operatives that invaded the Church in Imo State shot several rounds of live ammunition into the crowds of worshippers.

“Also we learnt that the IGP investigated the invasion and the report has been sent to President Muhammadu Buhari. Nigerians are asking for the public full disclosure of this report from the IGP and we wonder if the DG of DSS and the Army Chief also took their time to investigate the extent of involvement of their officers who were reportedly in that scene of unprovoked violent invasion by the security forces who wore no uniforms.

“The army and the DSS must disclose the identities of the invaders and charge them to court to serve as a deterrent because their action could have precipitated a civil strife if not that those worshippers took the entire scenario in their strides. This issue is a serious human rights matter that must never be swept under the carpets and our action is not motivated by politics but by the patriotic zeal to ensure that impunity and lawlessness are not the hallmarks of the government of Nigeria,” HURIWA said.

The rights group said it would not fold its hands while the right and freedom of Nigerians are being temples upon by agents of the government, vowing to ensure that the church invaders face the wrath of the law.

“This press briefing which is our first in 2022 is to further serve notice to the relevant authorities to act swiftly because this criminality and state sponsored terrorism happened close to Month ago and is the norm in Nigeria since the Muhammadu Buhari administration, Nigerians make a lot of noise to condemn government’s lawlessness and few hours after, the whole thing dies now and it is business as usual.

“We are going to stay on this issue until Nigeria acts to stop their armed security personnel from unleashing aggressive attacks on the citizens,” HURIWA said.

The prominent rights advocacy group said it had earlier petitioned the Police Service Commission but for two weeks now the Police Service Commission on the issue but yet to get a response on the steps being taken on the invasion.

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