Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
A civil society rights group, International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) has called on Anambra State Government and the police to unconditionally release and acquit a 94-year-old, Chief Priest of Ndiekwulu Deity, Ozubulu and five others arrested and remanded in prison custody since last July.
Board Chairman of Intersociety, Emeka Umeagbalasi, in a statement in Onitsha, on Monday, said the six incarcerated citizens who are all indigenes of Ozubulu Community in Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State are being persecuted on the grounds of their faith particularly for exercising their rights to freedom of religion and worship.
READ ALSO: Umahi proposes amnesty for looters
The group noted that the detainees’ right to freedom of worship is guaranteed as a fundamental human right by Section 38 of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 as well as the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1976 and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights of 1981; all of which Nigeria is a party to. The suspects, Anazo Ilomuanya (chief priest 94), Okoli Appolo Udegbunam (68), Igbokwe Nnanyeleze (65), Ifediorah Aloysius (64), Emeka Anaekwe (38), who is the leader of the disenchanted Ozubulu youths and Richard Obimaluokwu, have been remanded in Nnewi prison till date after their attempt to invoke a community deity for justice over the killings and counter attacks in Ozubulu community, which they felt government apparatus have not handled well in the quest for justice.