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Rights group petition on the killing of Francis Obiefuna by Nigerian Navy officers

A civil rights group, Civil Rights Realisation and Advancement Network (CRRAN) has petitioned the Nigerian Human Rights Commission on the killing of Francis Obiefuna, a member of staff of Fidelity Bank in Onitsha.

The letter was copied to the Ministry of Defence, the Chief of Naval Staff and the Chief of Naval Staff. It is reproduced in full below.

The deceased Obiefuna with his wife and twin children at their Christening.
The deceased Obiefuna with his wife and twin children at their Christening.

13th April 2016,

The Executive Secretary,
National Human Rights Commission,
No. 19, Aguiyi Ironsi Street,
Maitama,
Abuja.

Dear Sir,

APPEAL FOR JUSTICE;
RE: EXTRA JUDICIAL KILLING OF FRANCIS OBIEFUNA BY THE MEN OF NIGERIAN NAVY, NAVAL BASE ONITSHA

We write to you in respect of this matter on behalf of Mrs. Obiefuna and the entire family of Pa Raphael Obiefuna of Agulu, Okpu village, Anambra State.

Mrs. Obiefuna, wife of the deceased informed us that the Late Francis Obiefuna, a banker of 8 years standing, left for work on Friday the 18th March 2016. He worked at the Fidelity Bank Plc, Igbariam branch, Anambra State, before he met his untimely death in the hands of officers of the Nigeria Navy, Onitsha Base, Anambra State.

According to the Mrs. Obiefuna, the Manager of the bank had sent the Late Francis on an assignment and while he was going in the bank’s vehicle, at the Awkuzu /Achalla Junction, Anambra State, he noticed the gathering of some commercial motorcycle riders who were engaged in a scuffle while a Naval Patrol team was also there. The Late Francis directed the driver to turn back and while the driver was turning back, one of the naval officers released volleys of shots which entered through the back of the vehicle and killed the Late Francis.

The Late Francis was rushed to Chukwuemeka Odumegwu University Teaching Hospital but died before reaching the Hospital, his body was deposited at the hospital mortuary.

The matter was reported to the Police and the Homicide Section of the State Criminal and Investigation Department (SCID), Anambra State Police Headquarters, Awka, is presently investigating the matter.

The post mortem examination performed on the body of the deceased at the Teaching Hospital disclosed cause of death to be a massive right haemothorax with right lung collapse and; gunshot injury to the right lateral chest wall. The photocopy of the post mortem report is attached herewith.

SERIOUS ATTEMPT BY THE COMMANDER OF THE NAVAL BASE ONITSHA TO PERVERT THE COURSE OF JUSTICE IN THIS MATTER:

It should be noted that the clamour for justice in respect of this matter has been stiffly resisted by the Commander of the Naval Base, Onitsha, who is determined to ensured that the murderers of Late Francis escape justice by threatening both the human rights activists and journalists to stay clear from this matter.

A notable incident was the arrest and detention of a Reporter with Radio Nigeria, Awka, named Chukwudi Chienyem, who had gone on Tuesday 5th April 2016, to the Naval Base Onitsha to ask about the incident that led to the killing of Francis Obiefuna. He was arrested for espionage on the orders of the Commander of the Naval Base before he was later handed over to the Police. He was later released after over 5 hours at the Police Headquarters, Awka on the order of the Commissioner of Police, Anambra State.

DEMAND/ ACTION SOUGHT:
We demand on behalf of the Obiefuna family that the Commission intervene in this matter and ensure that the killers of Francis Obiefuna are brought to justice.

We also demand that the family be paid adequate compensation for the unlawful killing of their bread winner as the Mrs. Obiefuna a nursing mother with 10 months old baby twins of the deceased, said in tears that the future of the children remain bleak due to the brutal murder of the their father. Picture of the deceased and his very young family attached herewith.

For: Civil Rights Realisation and Advancement Network (CRRAN);

Olu Omotayo(IVLP)
President

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