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Senate Directs Nigerian Army to Compensate Families of Enugu Residents Killed by Soldiers

Senate Directs Nigerian Army to Compensate Families of Enugu Residents
Killed by Soldiers

Senate Directs Nigerian Army to Compensate Families of Enugu Residents Killed by Soldiers

The Nigerian Senate has mandated the Nigerian Army to pay a condolence visit to the Eke community in the Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State and to offer compensation to the families of local security agents killed by soldiers. This directive follows a tragic incident where two members of the Eke Neighbourhood Watch were killed.

The Senate’s resolution includes directives for the Nigerian Army to sympathize with the injured and provide adequate compensation to the victims’ families. This decision comes after an investigation into the incident, which occurred in July 2023, revealed that soldiers from the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army killed two members of the Eke Neighbourhood Watch during a pursuit of kidnappers along the 9th Mile-Eke-Ezeagu road.

Despite the Nigerian Army’s initial claim that the victims were hoodlums, the Senate formed a committee to investigate the matter following public outcry from the community and civil society organizations. The committee, led by Senator Imasuen Neda (Labour Party, Edo South), submitted its findings, which detailed the events leading to the deaths of the two security agents on June 29, 2023.

The report read, “That one faithful day, precisely on Thursday, 29th June 2023, some members of the Eke Neighborhood watch, while attending an event at 9th Mile, Udi Local Government, Enugu State, received a distress call around 6 pm, that some hoodlums have blocked the road leading to Eke community from the Nigerian Breweries.

“That, prompted by, the intelligence reports they received about the robbery attack along Eke road, the Neighborhood watch embarked on a rescue mission to salvage the situation.

“That on receiving the distress call, the CSO of the Neighborhood Watch, his deputy, and some members of the vigilante group who were all at 9th Mile for the event, notified the DPO, 9th Mile Police Station of their intention to proceed to the crime scene to rescue the victims and based on his assurance that the police are also coming, they immediately proceeded to the scene of the incident.

“On their way to the crime scene, they met a traffic gridlock around the AMA Breweries (Nigerian Breweries plc.) which made it impossible for members to arrive at the crime scene with their Patrol vehicle, hence, they had no option but to proceed to the scene on foot.”

It further said, “On getting to the scene of the robbery, they met 3 soldiers who ordered them to stop and they obliged.

“After they stopped, the guards who were fully kitted with their uniforms and identification cards, but without their patrol vehicle, informed the soldiers that they were members of the Eke Neighborhood Vigilante Group, this made the soldiers ask them to proceed.

“On getting closer to the soldiers, the soldiers opened fire on them at close range killing two people, namely: Mr. Chukwuemeka Okeh and Mrs. Nechinyere Mbah. While the Assistant CSO, Emeka Anigbo, Obinna Offor, and Okolo Chinedu, sustained various degrees of Gunshot Injuries.”