An Enugu State High Court has ordered the State Government to set up a judicial panel of inquiry to investigate the killing of 22 unarmed Igbo youths in Emene.
Justice Chinyere Ani gave the order in her judgement in Suit No. E/569M/2020 brought by the applicants, the Registered Trustees of Christian Network and Community Development and Anor. The Governor of Enugu State & Anor were the respondents.
The court held that the applicants’ case had merit.
The court declared: “That the 1st respondent is hereby ordered to institute a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to unravel the cause(s) of unlawful and illegal killing of 22 unarmed youths at Emene, Enugu, Enugu State, on 23 August, 2020.”
The applicants in the suit had prayed the court for a declaration that the massacre of 22 unarmed youths who were doing various physical exercise/trainings by the Police and Officials of Department of State Security Service on or about 22nd August 2020 violated Section 33(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and Article 4 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Cap A9 LFN 2004 which guaranteed right to life and prohibits the killing of human beings without an order of court.
They asked the court for a declaration that the extra judicial killing and/or massacre of 22 unarmed youths at Emene by the officers of the Nigerian Police and Officials of Department of State Security Service on or abou August 22, 2020 violated the fundamental rights to life of the deceased and was therefore unconstitutional, illegal and unlawful.
They prayed the court to declare that the failure and/or refusal of the Governor of Enugu State to set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to look into the unlawful killing of over 22 unarmed youths on or about August 22, 2020 at Emene, Enugu State by persons suspected to be Security Officials amounted to a dereliction of duty.
The plaintiffs also prayed the court for an order that under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Cap A9 LFN 2004, that it is the duty of the defendant to protect and defend the life and properties of the people of Enugu State.
They also asked the court for an order of mandamus compelling the defendants, the Governor of Enugu State, to set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to unravel the cause(s) of the unlawful and illegal killing of the youths.