By Ignatius Okpara, Enugu
ENUGU, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – An Enugu based human rights organization, the ‘Civil Rights Realisation and Advancement Network’ (CRRAN), has accused the Enugu State Government of not doing enough to check violence activities of herdsmen in the State.
It also berated the Enugu State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Meletus Eze over the inability of his office to prosecute suspects nabbed over the killing of some residents of the State by suspected Fulani herdsmen.
AFRICAN EXAMINER recalled that some suspected Fulani herdsmen had on the 25th of April 2016, attacked Ukpabi Nimbo community in Uzo Uwani council Area of Enugu State, killing several people and injuring many, just as properties were destroyed, including churches.
Exactly four months the ugly Nimbo incident occurred, another Enugu community, Attakwu, Akegbe-Ugwu, in Nkanu West local government Area of the state also came under a deadly attack, which claimed the life of a seminarian of the Catholic Church, Mr. Lawrence Nwafor and several others seriously.
Before the second attack, which took place on 25th May 2016, the Police headquarters, Abuja, under the watch of the immediate past Inspector General of Police (IGP) Solomon Arase, paraded five suspects who were arrested in connection with the Nimbo massacre.
The said five suspects are: Mohammed Zurai, Ciroma Musa, Saleh Adamu, Suleiman Laute and Haruna Laute.
The Police High Command had maintained at the press briefing of May 25 2016, that there were overwhelming evidence against the suspects, as video recording of the massacre was also found on one of the suspects’ phone.
However, in a statement issued by President of CRRAN, Barr. Olu Omotayo, which was made available to AFRICAN EXAMINER in Enugu Thursday, the organization expressed worry that “since that 25th May 2016, which is over 3 months ago”, the office of the Enugu Attorney General “has not deemed it fit to call for the case file in respect of this case from the police and commence process to initiate criminal trial of the arrested suspects.”
“As the No.1, Legal officer of Enugu State, it is your office that has the constitutional power to commence or discontinue legal prosecution of criminal trials in the state.
“We, therefore, demand that you urgently call for the case file from the police in respect of this matter with a view to commence the criminal trial of these suspects. The offences they committed are serious offences against the state and the citizens of Enugu State.
“This is not a political matter or a matter you need the consent of the Attorney General of the Federation before you take action.
“So, we demand urgent action from your office in respect of this matter, in the interest of justice for the state and the relatives of the innocent souls mauled down by the attackers.” the group stated.