Opu-Nembe Crisis: Coalition Seeks Justice, Writes Tinubu To Intervene Over Unlawful Killings

Opu-Nembe Crisis: Coalition Seeks Justice, Writes Tinubu To Intervene Over Unlawful Killings

  • Concerned Nigerians have appealed to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to intervene in the Opu-Nembe crisis in Bayelsa State
  • An open letter signed by a coalition revealed the alleged gruesome attack that transpired on February 15 that led to the demise of innocent citizens
  • It was gathered that the attack was allegedly led and orchestrated by one Mr Kojo Sam, a well-known pipeline surveillance contractor

Legit.ng journalist Segun Adeyemi has over 9 years of experience covering political events, civil societies, courts, and metro

A plea has been directed to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to intervene and resolve the Opu-Nembe conflict in Bayelsa state.

This appeal was made in an open letter obtained by Legit.ng on Wednesday, February 21.

President Bola Tinubu has been urged to intervene in the Opu-Nembe crisis
There are allegations that court proceedings are deliberately being stalled to trial the suspects of the Opu-Nembe crisis. Photo Credit: NESG
Source: Twitter

The letter, signed by Chief E.T. Ikoli, Chief Johnbull Efere, Afuroyanate Beredugo, Naomi Jonah, Alanabo Digigha, and Mr Ayebaemi Kieriseiye, detailed the unfortunate event of illegal deaths during the crisis.

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The letter revealed that the Inspector General of Police had initiated a criminal case regarding the tragic incident on February 15, where innocent citizens were killed in the community.

What transpired

According to an open letter, gunmen believed to be associated with Mr Kojo Sam, a well-known pipeline surveillance contractor and allegedly linked to Chief Timipre Sylva, former Minister of Petroleum (State), attacked a community, resulting in the deaths of Baite Agala, Queen Kieriseiye, and Inikio Walter, who were unarmed.

The attackers also caused significant damage to property worth millions of naira and left many residents homeless.

In August 2023, these same individuals, accompanied by members of the Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) of the Nigeria Police Force, returned to the community, resulting in further casualties and arrests.

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The gunmen, aided by the SWAT team, have since occupied the community, instilling fear and terror among the populace.

Many residents who oppose their presence have either fled or live in constant fear of retaliation.

Delay in legal proceedings

However, the case, with charge number FHC/ABJ/CR/323/2023, has been filed at the Federal High Court in Abuja against individuals including Lugard Martina, Dautibi Paul Okolai, Appy Sunday Julius, Michael Kumosuonyo, and others believed to be involved in the crime.

The charges levelled against them, as outlined in the attached charge sheet, encompass offences such as terrorism, murder, and theft.

The letter alleged:

"Your Excellency, we have just been reliably informed by DCP Simon Lough (SAN) who is the Lead Prosecuting Counsel in the case that the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF)has decided not to prosecute the matter further (nolle prosequi).
"Hence the witnesses failed to show up when called upon to testify in court.

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"While we acknowledge the power of the AGF to give formal notice to discontinue a court case instituted by any authority or person in the country, he can only do that based on “public interest, the interest of justice and the need to prevent abuse of legal process” as enshrined in our extant laws. Your Excellency will agree with us that this particular murder case is of utmost public interest and too grave to be discontinued without getting justice.
"We believe the alleged action of the AGF not only negates the ideals of justice but also the fundamental principles of fairness, impartiality, and adherence to the rule of law in all situations. The purported action if successfully executed will further lead to a betrayal of trust the terrorized but helpless people of Opu-Nembe have in our legal system."

The letter appealed to President Tinubu to caution the Attorney General to order and take decisive action to rectify any order that may have been given surreptitiously.

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They appealed that urgent steps be taken to restore confidence in the judiciary and reaffirm its commitment to upholding the principles of justice and equality for all.

Kidnappers abduct 9 churchgoers on Kogi road, demand 30m ransom

Nine members of Jehovah's Witness were kidnapped on their way to their place of worship in Kogi state on Saturday.

The armed kidnappers initially demanded N30m but later reduced the ransom to N2.6m and warned the victims' families not to contact the Police or risk their loved ones being hurt.

The police have been informed and promised to look into the matter, promising to come out with details of the events later.

Source: Legit.ng

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