The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA) has condemned the actions of the police during the arrest of a former governorship aspirant in Imo State, Uche Nwosu.
Policemen had in their numbers arrested Nwosu, who is also the son-in-law to a former governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, inside a church in Owerri on Sunday morning.
There were insinuations that the incident may not be unconnected with the face-off between Okorocha and Governor Hope Uzodinma.
But in a statement issued by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Director of Media, Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA described as unpardonable desecration of the Church the arrest of the ex-governorship aspirant by the police operatives who shot sporadically inside the worship centre.
The statement read: “We condemn this criminal tendency by the Imo State police command and this has given credence to the report documented by Amnesty International in which the global human rights body accused the Imo State Police Command of the use of extrajudicial executions of innocent citizens as their law enforcement tactics.
“This sort of unprovoked violence and primitive show of force by the Imo State police command is unconstitutional, illegal, despicable, treacherous and reprehensible and the commissioner of police must be sanctioned by the Police Service Commission just as the National Council of State should sanction the IGP who authorised this sort of terrorism in a Church filled to the brim with peaceful worshippers.
“This was why everyone in Nigeria believed that the shooters were kidnappers long before the police issued a tepid press statement claiming to have arrested Uche Nwosu.”
The group insisted that the method adopted by the police violated the Nigerian Police Act of 2020 which “mandates the police to treat citizens with dignity and to respect their constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights as enshrined in chapter 4 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 as amended.”
It added: “This show of criminal brute force the police in Imo State have given life to the widespread allegations in many quarters that operatives of the security services in Imo State and other parts of South East of Nigeria may be responsible for the spate of targeted assassinations and kidnappings that have happened in the very recent time.”