• Tuesday, May 21, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Urhobo groups say won’t participate in military-led board of inquiry

Urhobo groups say won’t participate in military-led board of inquiry

…Demands release of detained monarch

The Urobo Youth Union (UPU) Worldwide and Urhobo Youth Leaders Association (UYL) vowed on Friday to stand firm on their decision not to participate in the military-led board of enquiry into the killing of 17 military personnel at Okuama in the Ewu-Urhobo Kingdom, Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State, unless their conditions were met.

The groups urged the military to reconsider the composition of its board of inquiry and transfer the responsibility of investigation to an independent body capable of ensuring a fair and impartial process.

The groups also called on the Delta State government to intervene and facilitate the safe return of Okuama residents to their homes, provide necessary humanitarian assistance, and address the root causes of the conflict

They stated this in a position paper signed by Blessed Ughere, president of the UPU youth wing and Samuel Oghotomo, president of UYLA, and made available to the media.

The groups stated that they would not participate until their conditions bordering on legal, ethical, and humanitarian reasons, were met.

“We took the position following the invitation of Chief Edwin Uzor JP, the special adviser to the governor of Delta State on peacebuilding and conflict resolution, to Activist Blessed Ughere, the president of UPU Youth Wing Worldwide and Chief Samuel Oghotomo JP, president, Urhobo Youths Leaders Association, we have taken a principled stance.”

They further stated: “Doctrine of ‘Nemo judex in causa sua’ (No one should be a judge in their case): The Nigerian Army, being a party involved in the matter, cannot impartially conduct an investigation or adjudication. More so when the army has already taken a position by declaring eight persons wanted without inviting them for proper investigation. This fundamental principle of natural justice prohibits biased entities from presiding over cases where they have vested interests.

It is our considered view that Okuama people are not subject to military laws. Therefore, a military-led inquiry lacks the legal authority to investigate civilians’ matters,” the groups noted.