In Delta State, Irri community leader Chief Joshua Uturu has killed over fourteen persons in an effort to incorporate Agip oil under his own name through influence in government circles. Back on December 29 2009, Uturu summoned a peace meeting, which the whole community turned up to. Despite claims for peaceful intentions though, Chief Uturu and his collaborators, led by Simeon Otor, ended up killing a person by the name of Efe Ogbomudia (Eferare).
The cases were reported to Delta State police command, however, seemingly on account of the crooks’ wealth and power, the reports were largely ignored. Uturu failed to be arrested by local police, and furthermore it is suspected that Uturu was informed of those who try to rat him out.
Chief Uturu was eventually arrested by Abuja police and charged with several counts of murder. Over 80% of the witnesses have already testified, but it now appears that the Attorney General of Delta State has been muddying the efforts of the case and in so doing, exposing Irri indigenes to insecurity and threat to life.
As yet, petitions written to the Governor of Delta State, His Excellency Emmanuel.E. Uduaghan have not been considered and he has failed to publicly address the current plight of the Irri people. Chief Uturu Joshua was granted three weeks medical bail. However, instead of going for treatment, it appears the Chief visited the commander of an anti-terrorist group in Warri to convince him to storm the community. Over three consecutive nights, the militants arrested the community chairman and the Aid to the Monarch.
In response to intense pressure, the presiding Judge Justice Marshal Mukoro, who sits in High Court 1 Warri, has transferred the case to the chief Judge of Delta State, where it will likely be assigned to another judge more sympathetic towards Uturu.
Justice must be served in Delta State. The Attorney General should be encouraged to return the case back to Justice Marshal Mukoro, where there is greater hope of due justice. The Governor must address the Irri people, and where human rights violations continue, human rights organizations should step in.