A leading socio-cultural association of Igbo professionals under the aegis of Nzuko Umuna, has described as horrifying, frightening, and unutterable in a democracy, the shoot-at-order the Inspector General Police, IGP, Usman Alkali Baba, handed to police officers in the South East.
The group, which addressed a world press conference in Abuja on Monday, noted that the IGP gave the directive in Enugu on May 18, when he launched Operation Restore Peace in the Southeast.
Insisting that adherence to such directive could lead to human right abuses and total breakdown of law and order in the region, the group, said it has notified the international community, particularly, the International Criminal Court, the United Nation Human Rights Council, as well as various High Commissions and Embassies in Nigeria.
While imploring the IGP to rescind “his unconstitutional and illegal orders”, Nzuko Umunna, in a statement that was signed by the Chairman of its Legal Committee, Dr. Sam Amadi, urged the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, to investigate and take proactive preventive actions to avert extrajudicial killings in the South East.
The statement, a copy of which was made available to Vanguard, read in part: “According to multiple newspapers, television, and social media reports, the Inspector General, while launching Operation Restore Peace in Southeast in Enugu on May 18, 2021, declared thus:
“Don’t mind the media shout; do the job I command you. If anyone accuses you of human rights violations, the report will come to my table, and you know what I will do. So, take the battle to them wherever they are and kill them all. Don’t wait for an order.
“Don’t sit and wait for them to come; take the attack to them and don’t lose your arms to criminals”.
“We consider this statement horrifying, frightening, and unutterable in a democracy with entrenched constitutional rights to life and due process.
“We are more surprised that the head of the Nigerian Police will make such an outrageous statement authorizing state violence in a region that, for long, has been seething with anger at police brutality of whose youths have been extra-judicially killed by security agents in large numbers.