Izombe crisis: Panel received over 350 petitions — Chairman

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Over 350 petitions were received and treated by the judicial panel of inquiry on security crisis that rocked Izombe, Oguta Local Government Area of Imo and other parts of the state in October 2021.

The Chairman of the panel, Justice Fred Njemanze disclosed this when he presented a white paper on its inquiry to Gov. Hope Uzodimma on Wednesday at the Government House, Owerri.

Njemanze said the petitions received included 19 evidences from chairmen, traditional rulers, and some President-Generals of the affected communities.

They also included evidences provided by the Police, the Department of State Services (DSS), and the Correctional Services.

The Chairman said, “We could have received more than that but because of some sort of fears which so many were entertaining, including lawyers appearing for them.

“Some of them had to withdraw at certain stage out of fear.

“Unfortunately, the Army refused to appear before the judicial panel despite all we did to bring them.

“The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) also did not appear.

“But in all, we have four volumes of our reports; the first report is the main report where we made our findings and recommendations.

“Volumes two, three and four are the proceedings, exhibits and other materials,” he added.

He described part of their panel’s findings as “man’s inhumanity to man and acts of savagery.”

While presenting the report, Njemanze commended the governor for the opportunity given to the members of the panel to serve the state.

Responding, Uzodimma, who commended the panel for conducting a thorough work in a timely manner, promised to take into consideration, their far-reaching recommendations.

Uzodimma said they would be consulted whenever their services were required again.

He expressed confidence that when the recommendations were implemented, it would calm the nerves of aggrieved persons and restore lasting peace in the area.

The Governor further pledged the continued protection of lives and property of residents in the state.