The International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety Nigeria) has demanded that Anambra State command should hands off the investigation into the recent Ozubulu church massacre and be handed over to the Federal Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) and the International Police (INTERPOL).
Intersociety believed that the Anambra State Police Command headed by CP Garuba Baba Umar and the Government of Anambra State led by Governor Willie Obiano would not do justice to the investigation because they, “lack moral, circumstantial and technical/expert competence, capacity and capability to carry out comprehensive, conclusive, prosecutorial and convictable or exonerative investigations” into the last Sunday’s gruesome killing of innocent and defenseless parishioners/worshippers at St Philip’s Catholic Church, Amakwa Ozubulu in Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State.
The position of the group, according to Emeka Umeagbalas, stemmed from emerging facts and circumstances trailing the incident. He said “Morally and damnably, there have been albums of recent pictures showing that the person and institution of the Governor of Anambra State and top officials of the Anambra State Police Command are either the godfathers or errand boys of a chief culprit/suspect in the mass murder, Mr. Aloysius Ikegwuonu (alias Bishop Ebubechukwu-Uzo 1 of Ozubulu). The Nnewi Diocese of the Catholic Church also “consecrated” him with a title of “St Aloysius of Devine Mercy”; on account of a church building he built for them in 2016.
The group also alleged that the Governor of Anambra State apart from commissioning Ikegwuonu’s projects, also made him a political leader of his political party in Ozubulu and beyond, while it doubted the claim by the state government and the state Police Command of arresting suspects behind the massacre. “We fear deeply that there is high possibility that innocent members of the public are being arrested with reckless abandon while the real culprits possibly hide and cool off in the comfort of their hideouts within or outside Anambra State and the country. It is also possible that the assailants in question have successfully returned to their base abroad immediately after the massacre”.
Intersociety was worried that Ozubulu Community is presently under police and military siege of men drawn from anti riot/anti robbery police personnel dressed in their uniforms as well as combat soldiers with their combat uniforms, stressing that, a mass murder crime scene that technically requires detective and intelligence combing has been flooded with anti riot control police personnel.
“Apart from lacking moral, circumstantial and technical/expert competence, capacity and capability in unmasking those behind the mass murder and circumstances of same, the Anambra State Police Command and the Governor/Government of Anambra State are morally and vicariously indictable.
“Above all and technically speaking, the involvement of the duo (Anambra State Government and Anambra State Police Command) in the mass murder should not go beyond preliminary investigation stage. Going by the nature, circumstances, patterns and trends of the crime, it has cross border origin with local escalation or involvement; making it an international crime of drug trafficking and its related killings nature with inter State approach and tracking”, he said.
The group acknowledged that investigation of crimes in Nigeria including crimes of singular or plural murder is entrusted in the hands of the Nigeria Police Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID) situated at the Force Headquarters, presently headed by DIG Mr. Hyacinth Dagala Medgu.
‘We therefore call on the Force Criminal Investigation and its DIG in charge, Mr. Hyacinth Dagala Medgu to as a matter of extremely urgency and public importance take over the investigations into the Ozubulu Church massacre. The FCID and the Inspector General of Police are also called upon to study the album of pictures attached below obtained and circulated by concerned Nigerians on social media and identify and query the senior police officers whose pictures appeared therein; for the purpose of assisting the Department in the investigations. The person and institution of the Governor of Anambra State should also be respectfully and honorably invited to assist the Police in the investigations through a written statement and other relevant gubernatorial clarifications”, the group demanded.