The Police Service Commission has appeared before the Federal High Court in Abuja over the invasion of St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Owerri, in Imo State, by armed policemen.
Recall that masked gunmen had invaded the church on Sunday December 26, 2021, with reports saying that they were kidnappers who whisked Uche Nwosu, a former governorship aspirant in the state, away.
They had shot sporadically in the church during service while taking Nwosu away and the police later cleared the air, saying they carried out the arrest, which looked to many as a kidnap operation.
Although Nwosu was subsequently moved to Abuja by the policemen and later released, the police are yet to explain why Nwosu, who is the son-in-law to former governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, was arrested in a Gestapo style.
And in a suit filed before the court by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, HURIWA sought an order of mandamus compelling the respondent – the Police Service Commission – to probe the church invasion and the attempted kidnap of Nwosu.
The human rights advocacy group also sought “an order of mandamus compelling the PSC to investigate the shootings inside and around the church premises.
“An order to tender before this court and case also the applicant with a certified true copy of the findings and or result of the said investigations.”
The group also wants an order to prosecute, discipline and or punish any of its employee(s) who is found culpable.
Some of the grounds relied upon by HURIWA to sought the reliefs include,
“That the police officers acted without regards to innocent citizens, children, worshippers in the church premises as the shot recklessly into the influence of some drugs or alcohol.”
“That the PSC is clothed with the powers to amongst other thing dismiss and exercise disciplinary control over persons who are police officers except the inspector general of police..”
Before resolving to go to court, HURIWA’s demand for the arrest and prosecution of all culpable police officers had proved abortive.
A viral video had shown the heavily armed police personnel invading the church all in an attempt to arrest the former governorship aspirant who was attending a programme at the church.