Obiano, Police Commissioner are friends of Anambra drug lord; lack moral right to investigate Ozubulu church massacre: Group alleges
Foremost rights group, the Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety), with headquarters in Onitsha, the commercial capital of Anambra Sate has accused Governor Willie Obiano and the State Police Command headed by CP Garuba Baba Umar of lacking the moral right to investigate Sunday’s massacre of church worshippers in the state because of their alleged links with Mr. Aloysius Ikegwuonu, the alleged main target of the gunmen .
The group in a statement issued on Tuesday recommended that the investigation should be handled by Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) and International Police (INTERPOL). The statement was jointly signed by the Intersociety’s Board Chairman, Emeka Umeagbalasi; Head, Campaign & Publicity Department; Barr Chinenye Akubuilo; Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Programme, Barr Obianuju Igboeli; Head, Democracy & Good Governance Programme, Barr Chinwe Umeche; and Head, Int’l Justice and Human Rights Programme, Barr Ndidiamaka Bernard.
The statement read:
“It is the firm and unequivocal position of our organisation (Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law) that the Anambra State Police Command headed by CP Garuba Baba Umar and the Government of Anambra State led by Governor Willie Obiano 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 massacre or gruesome killing by hired assassins/mass murderers of dozens of innocent and defenseless parishioners/worshippers at St Philip’s Catholic Church, Amakwa Ozubulu in Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State.
“In the early morning massacre that took place during a morning church service, over 20 persons were independently believed to have died while scores got brutally injured. As usual, official sources including the Anambra State Police Command and the Government of Anambra State said “only 12 persons died.
“Our latest position stems from emerging facts and circumstances trailing the black Sunday butchery. 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.
“Apart from commissioning his “humanitarian projects”, the person and institution of the Governor of Anambra State also made him “a political leader of his political party in Ozubulu and beyond”. Top officials of the Anambra State Police Command whose pictures appeared in the album attached below have also paid errand boy homage to the Ozubulu “High Chief”. There appears to be deceitful and misleading joint script of the mass murder by the trio of the Governor, the CP and the Parish Priest of the ill-fated Church Parish. The script has it that “a lone gunman stormed the Church and opened fire on worshippers, killing only 12 persons over existing business/drug dispute involving two brothers from the same community.
“The answers as to “who is the second Ozubulu relative at large; whose assailants carried out the mass murder or what about his pictures and other social data of his since he hails from same Ozubulu” have not been provided the trio till date. We also asked and still ask: is the sponsor of the murderer assailants truly “an Ozubulu relative of “High Chief” Aloysius Ikegwuonu, who was the target of the failed assassination mission leading to the mass murder or is he not from Mbaise in Imo State? What are the identities of “the only 12 persons” killed in the massacre and others injured? Was the massacre truly carried out by a lone gunman or by gunmen? Totality of the above has made to strongly suspect foul play or cover up in the so called “ongoing Anambra Police/Government investigations.
“It is therefore laughable for the Government of Anambra State and its Commissioner of Police to announce publicly “the arrest of some 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.
“The reported eleventh hour (Saturday night) escape to possibly South Africa of the missed target of the assassination (Aloysius Ikegwuonu) is a clear case in point. It further shows that the assailants and their sponsors have free access and across border entry and exit at their beck and call.
“We have also been reliably informed that Ozubulu Community is presently under police and military siege. Mockingly, the department of the Police and military constituting the siege are drawn from anti riot/anti robbery police personnel dressed in their uniforms as well as combat soldiers with their combat uniforms. A mass murder crime scene that technically requires detective and intelligence combing has been flooded with anti riot control police personnel. What a tragedy and professional quackery?
“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.
“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. The FCID is presently composed of: Administration, Anti-Fraud Section, the Central Criminal Registry-CCR,, X-Squad, General Investigation, Special Fraud Unit, Legal Department, Forensic Science Laboratory, Interpol Liaison, Homicide, Anti-Human Trafficking, Force Intelligence Bureau, DCI Kaduna Annex and Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU).
“The FCID also oversees Police Anti-Cult Squad, Police Anti-Bunkering Squad and Swift Operation Squad (SOS). To the extent of enforcement and operations, the FCID share some of these duties with the Force Operations Department, also headed by a DIG; but strictly in matters of criminal investigations such as investigations into the Ozubulu Church massacre and its progenitor drug trafficking/war in far away South Africa; the FCID and its relevant sections such as Homicide, Interpol, Anti Fraud, Force Intelligence, Legal Department, Forensic, etc is competently and hierarchically suited to handle same.
“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.”