The Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up by the Enugu State Government, South East Nigeria set up on Jan. 9 to investigate the crisis in Oruku Community of Nkanu East Local Government Area has called for memoranda from the public.
The community which has been engulfed in a leadership crisis witnessed the killing of the traditional ruler, Igwe Emmanuel Chidiebere Mba, during its annual convocation on Dec. 26, 2020.
HumAngle had reported how a police team with the connivance of some members of the community allegedly exploited the crisis to kill Mba on the fateful day.
Witnesses said that some influential persons in the community had illegally engaged some members of the Police Special Tactical Squad from Nigeria Police Headquarters in Abuja to carry out the assignment.
The team allegedly stormed the meeting, arrested Mba with one other, and shot him in the leg, following which he bled to death before he could get medical attention.
The Secretary of the investigative panel, Dr Godwin Anigbo, in a statement on Thursday,
urged interested individuals, groups and organisations to submit memoranda in 10 copies to the team.
He said the documents should be addressed to the Chairman, Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the killing of HRH Igwe Emmanuel Chidiebere Mba, Court 8, Judiciary Headquarters, Enugu.
The seven-member panel is chaired by Justice Harold Eya of Enugu State High Court.
Anigbo said the memoranda would enable the panel to unravel the remote and immediate cause (s) of the crisis which had claimed lives and property, including that of the traditional ruler.
He said the memoranda should be submitted on or before Monday, Feb. 1.
The Enugu State Governor, Ugwuanyi, while inaugurating the panel, charged the members to discharge their duty expeditiously and most sincerely.
He said the findings of the panel would inform further government action(s) on the Oruku crisis.
The governor reiterated his administration’s commitment to the security and welfare of the people and urged the people of Oruku Community to embrace peace.
The terms of reference of the panel include: to “ascertain the number of persons killed or injured in the crisis.
“Identify persons, group or institutions who either by acts or omissions are directly or indirectly involved in, or sponsored the crisis.
“Investigate any other matter(s) that may come to the knowledge of the panel in the course of the inquiry, not covered in these terms of reference.
“To make recommendations regarding persons whom the panel finds culpable or blameworthy in connection with the crisis.
“Generally make recommendations in the light of its findings on how to prevent a similar crisis in future and make other recommendations which the panel may consider appropriate in view of its findings.”
The committee has two months to complete its assignment
Responding on behalf of members of the panel, Eya expressed appreciation to the governor for finding them worthy to serve the state in such capacity and pledged that they would carry out the task with diligence.
Meanwhile, some indigenes of Oruku have called on the Federal Government to intervene and help find lasting peace in the community.
The indigenes said no fewer than 12 buildings had been raised since December 2020 when the killing occurred, while many people had deserted their homes because of fear for their lives.
According to Amaka Nwigwe, a lawyer and representative of the indigenes, since Dec. 26, 2020, the good people of Oruku community have kept sleepless nights in bushes having run away from their homes following the mayhem which the Neighbourhood Watch is causing the entire community.
“The arrest of late Emma Mba unsettled his Neighbourhood Watch/bodyguards which led them to the burning and wanton destruction of properties belonging to those perceived to be opposed to him.
“The Enugu Police Command and the state government are aware of the matter yet Oruku community is yet to have peace.
“Hence the need to call on the Federal Government and all well-meaning Nigerians to intervene in this horrific situation as the lives of an entire community are under threat of total annihilation, ” Nwigwe stated.