A top group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), yesterday called for impartial investigation of individuals responsible for the purported killing of two soldiers and the subsequent invasion by armed soldiers and flaring of the palace of traditional ruler of Izombe community in Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State.
HURIWA stated it was absolutely illegal for the military to lawlessly execute citizens no matter the level of offence just as the group said it has been unveiled that the killing of a young man by soldiers led to the revenge killing of the two soldiers, which in itself is uncultured and unlawful.
The group in a communique by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, showed concerns that the Nigerian military is yet to understand that under constitutional democracy, no institution has the lawful authority to take the law into its hands no matter the instigation or anger just as setting on fire the housing assets of the traditional ruler has been portrayed as an act of primitive brutality and an unlawful modus operandi, which must be decisively dealt with and stopped henceforth.
It therefore suggested the setting up of an independent judicial commission of inquiry by the Imo State Government to reveal the arsonists amongst the soldiers that petrol bombed the palace of the traditional ruler just as the group has demanded for justice and closure for all those killed including the two soldiers allegedly set ablaze by some irate youths.
The rights group also cited news media as reporting that many houses, including the palace of the traditional ruler of the Aborshi-Izombe community, Pius Muforo, were set ablaze just as it was revealed that Izombe, Eziorsu and Osobod communities have been involved in oil bunkering operations.
Recall that a community leader from Umuokwu village, Mr James Imo, maintained that over 50 houses have been set ablaze.
HURIWA, which criticized the cowardly actions of the irate youths for allegedly murdering the military men of the Nigerian Army said that in as much as the brutal criminal act of killing law enforcement agents is totally condemnable, it remains absolutely despicable and reprehensible.
“HURIWA insisted that what is lawful is for the Nigeria Army to report to the police who will immediately swing into action and arrest the suspected killers of the two soldiers so they are prosecuted for murders and not for the soldiers to resort to self help measures of invading communities and burning down houses and shooting randomly at everything moving in those communities just to revenge the alleged brutal killing of two of their colleagues, who in any case had allegedly killed a young man extralegally.
“HURIWA charges the Chief of Army staff, Lieutenant General Yahaya Faruk to escalate his announced programme of professionalization of the Armed Forces and to work out ways and means of ensuring that henceforth soldiers do not resort to self help measures such as invading a community whereby any of their members are killed on the line of duty or even for committing atrocious act of extrajudicial execution of a citizen and for the invading soldiers to extend this revenge mission to adjourning communities means that these are crimes against humanity,” the statement read.