Ambassador Friday Sani, the Country Head of the International Human Rights Commission (IHRC) has been called upon to maintain neutrality in the politically sponsored crisis in Imo State in order to help promote peace in the State.
The call was made by Engr. Nwosu Emmanuel, the Executive Secretary of Civil Society Engagement Platform CSEP; an umbrella body of several Civil Society groups in Nigeria in response to media reports credited to Friday Sani, whom it was alleged has threatened to facilitate a visa ban on Governor Hope Uzodimma and his family over the arrest of Uche Nwosu, the embattled son in-law of Sen. Rochas Okorocha, the immediate past Governor of the State.
According to Engr Nwosu, “it smacks of deliberate mischief and may also be indicative of bias and contrived prejudice for an organisation as the International Human Rights Commission to clearly disregard the monumental allegations of Uche Nwosu’s complicity in sponsoring violence and seeking to derail governance in Imo State.
“It is embarrassing that the representative of the Human Rights Commission in Nigeria could make such a vindictive and plausibly ignorant statement without appreciating the facts and issues as they are.
“Allegations backed by confessions made by suspects arrested by the Nigerian Police appear to have indicted Uche Nwosu and it was on the strength of those allegations that his arrest was effected by the Nigerian Police and not the Imo State Governor; outside a church and not inside the Church as has been falsely promoted.
“The question that is begging for answer; which the representative of IHRC has shockingly avoided is whether Uche Nwosu has immunity against arrest or whether as inlaw to Sen. Okorocha, he is above the law? Neither of that can possibly be the case.
“Granted, the manner of his arrest elicited negative reactions due to the shooting by the police into the air, but that would not have been if not for the attempts by Uche’s followers to help him resist and evade a legitimate arrest effected right outside the Church.
“These facts are supported by live video recording streamed on social media during the said arrest, none of which showed any shooting or arrest inside the church. There is no doubt therefore that the propaganda of arrest inside the Church is a clear fallacy as there is no single evidence to substantiate it; in spite of the claim that it happened during a fully recorded and broadcast event that had multiple cameras livestreaming on social media”.
“It is sad that the Country Head of IHRC wilfully ignored these verifiable facts and neither relied on any judicial decision nor security intelligence to reach his clearly biased conclusion regarding governance in Imo State. The posture of the IHRC office in Nigeria to the issues in Imo State speaks of complicity and truly calls for immediate investigation”.
Engr Nwosu extolled the pragmatism of the Hope Uzodimma led Government since its inception, in spite of grappling with vicious attempts by political entities to undermine it and create a state of lawlessness.
“The Imo State government has continued to do its best towards the implementation of its shared prosperity blueprint for the benefit of Imo People” Nwosu said.
He also said that wealth creating opportunities have continued to be provided by the Government to enable Imo youth become meaningfully engaged.
The Executive Secretary of CSEP questioned the volte-face by the IHRC to the unprecedented act of defence of the rights of Imo Citizens by the Hope Uzodinma administration through the restoration of all lands and sundry property illegally and brazenly confiscated by the Rochas Okorocha led government; a government in which Uche Nwosu served as Chief of Staff.
He wondered that if the IHRC in Nigeria was sincerely desirous of promoting justice as well as protecting human rights, the rights of the deprived, victimised and robbed people of Imo State should have been its focus and not the misrepresented position and false claims of injury by Uche Nwosu and the Okorocha family.
The Civil Society Engagement Platform CSEP called on the International Community to maintain an unbiased opinion about the State and disregard attempts by political opponents of the Governor to propagate falsehood aimed at blackmailing the government of Imo State.