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Urhobo Youth Leaders Take Stand Against Bias in Okuama Tragedy Investigation, Call for Justice

The Urhobo Progressive Union leadership, UPU Youth Wing, and Urhobo Youth Leaders Association (UYLA) have publicly expressed their refusal to cooperate with the Military-led inquiry into the Okuama incident.

In a joint statement signed by Activist Blessed Ughere, President Urhobo Progressive Union (UPU) Youth Wing, and Olorogun Amb. Samuel Oghotomo JP, President of Urhobo Youths Leaders Association, the youth group calls for justice, an independent probe, and a fair investigation into the tragedy.

The statement raises concerns about the impartiality of the Nigerian Army’s involvement in the matter and their declaration of eight individuals as wanted without proper investigation. The group argues that the Army’s involvement compromises impartiality as they are a party to the incident.

Moreover, their declaration of eight individuals as wanted without proper investigation violates the doctrine of ‘Nemo judex in causa sua.’ The statement also stresses that Okuama people are not subject to military laws, rendering a military-led inquiry lacking in legal authority.

The UPU Youth Wing and Urhobo Youth Leaders Association (UYLA) demand the apprehension of the culprits responsible for the killings and their handover to the police for prosecution. They call for the unconditional release of the Ovie of the Ewu-Urhobo kingdom and an end to the harassment of Urhobo neighbouring communities to Okuma.

The statement raises concerns about the composition of the panel, citing previous military declarations and actions that undermine credibility and conflicting statements from the Chief of Defense Staff that further erode trust. As such, an independent body, such as the police, should lead the investigation for fairness and transparency.

The displacement of the Okuama community makes their participation in the inquiry impractical and unsafe. The group extends condolences to the Army for their loss and urges them to investigate the incident internally.

The statement calls on the Military to reconsider the composition of the Board of Inquiry and transfer responsibility to an independent body. The Delta State government should intervene to facilitate the return of Okuama residents, provide humanitarian assistance, and address root causes.

The UPU Youth Wing and Urhobo Youth Leaders Association (UYLA) reiterate their commitment to justice, transparency, and the welfare of their people and stand by their decision not to participate in the military-led Board of Inquiry until these conditions are met.

The statement reads in part “Position Paper by Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) Youth Wing Worldwide and Urhobo Youth Leaders Association (UYLA) on Non-Participation in the Military Board of Inquiry Regarding the Okuama Incident.”

“We, the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) Youth Wing Worldwide and the Urhobo Youth Leaders Association (UYLA) have made a principled decision not to participate in the Military Board of Inquiry investigating the tragic events of March 17 in Okuama, Ewu-Urhobo Kingdom, Ughelli South Local Government Area, Delta State. This decision is based on legal, ethical, and humanitarian reasons that we outline below.”

“The Nigerian Army’s involvement in the matter compromises impartiality, as they are a party to the incident. Furthermore, their declaration of eight individuals as wanted without proper investigation violates the doctrine of ‘Nemo judex in causa sua’ (No one should be a judge in their case).”

“Okuama people are not subject to military laws, rendering a military-led inquiry lacking in legal authority. We demand the apprehension of the culprits responsible for the killings and their handover to the police for prosecution.”

“We call for the unconditional release of the Ovie of the Ewu-Urhobo kingdom and an end to the harassment of Urhobo neighbouring communities to Okuma.”

“The composition of the panel raises concerns about bias, with previous military declarations and actions undermining credibility. Conflicting statements from the Chief of Defense Staff further erode trust. An independent body, such as the police, should lead the investigation for fairness and transparency.”

“The displacement of the Okuama community makes their participation in the inquiry impractical and unsafe. We extend condolences to the Army for their loss and urge them to investigate the incident internally.”

“We urge the Military to reconsider the composition of the Board of Inquiry and transfer responsibility to an independent body. The Delta State government should intervene to facilitate the return of Okuama residents, provide humanitarian assistance, and address root causes.”

“Until these conditions are met, we stand by our decision not to participate in the military-led Board of Inquiry, reaffirming our commitment to justice, transparency, and the welfare of our people.”

“Osu re’ Michele
Activist Blessed Ughere, President, Urhobo Progress Union (UPU), Youth Wing
Olorogun Amb. Samuel Oghotomo JP, President, Urhobo Youths Leaders Association.”

Efecha Gold
Efecha Goldhttps://goldennationmultimedia.com/
Multimedia Expert, Journalist, and Singer.
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