Imo prison attack: HURIWA suspects foul play, charges Buhari, Governors

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The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari and Governors of the South East to set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to investigate the spate of coordinated attacks on strategic national security assets and killings of security agents including the recent violent attack on the Federal Correction Centre and the police facilities in Owerri, the Imo State capital.

HURIWA urged Buhari and the governors to ensure that the panel unravel those behind such attacks and ensure they are punished.

Some gunmen on Monday morning attacked the Owerri Correctional Prison and freed over 1500 inmates just as the attackers also reportedly razed the Imo State Police Command headquarters situated in Owerri and burnt almost all the vehicles parked at the command headquarters.

The gunmen who reportedly operated from 1am to 3am, freed suspects in almost all the cells at the State Criminal Investigation Department of the command.

Reacting, the frontline rights advocacy group said there was the imperative need for a thorough forensic and judicial investigation of the attacks in Owerri alongside other associated violent attacks with deadly consequences targeting mostly uniformed members of the security forces and strategic national security assets.

In a statement by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, the rights group said the attacks in the Southeast are “choreographed and formidably coordinated by some external forces working with some internal forces who are in a frenzy to ignite and instigate the collapse of security and economic stability of the Igbo-speaking region.”

The statement reads: “These attackers had a free run for a long period of time without interference or counter-attacks.

“There is more to it than meets the eyes. We think this is an unusual occurrence that must be confronted by all means necessary. This regime of the unruly gunmen sponsored by God knows who, must never be allowed to blossom and take roots in the South East of Nigeria or anywhere in the South of Nigeria which have remained relatively peaceful even amid terrorism and armed banditry in much of Northern Nigeria.

“We call on the Governments of all the States in the South East and the crude oil rich states of the Niger Delta to meet immediately and convoke a security summit to investigate the sources of these premeditated attacks. We call for the formation by the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari through the Vice President and the Chief of Staff to set up a high-powered judicial panel of investigators to immediately set to work to uncover the remote, immediate and possible causes and sponsors of these attacks which we believe are sponsored by some forces working towards destroying the peace of the South East of Nigeria.”

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