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PDP to petition ICC over insecurity in Imo, says state ‘overrun by killers’

PDP to petition ICC over insecurity in Imo, says state ‘overrun by killers’
May 28
20:45 2023

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Imo state says there are necessary documents of human rights abuses and extrajudicial killings to file a petition against Hope Uzodimma, governor of the state, at the International Criminal Court (ICC). 

In a press conference on Sunday, Collins Opuruzor, the PDP’s publicity secretary in Imo, said the state has been “overrun by killers, arsonists, kidnappers and bandits”. 

He said a good number of residents have become victims of forced disappearance while many more have fled the state for fear of being profiled and killed.

Opuruzor, who said state citizens could become refugees soon, added that the PDP has also reached out to the American and European embassies to enforce a visa ban on Uzodimma. 


“It is troubling to note that the size of Imo that has now been overrun and occupied by killers, arsonists, kidnappers and bandits is larger than the territories of Malta and Vatican City put together,” he said.

“The largest senatorial district in the state, which is the Orlu zone, has been abandoned due to insecurity, economic activities crippled and over a million residents displaced. Okigwe zone has also become a war front. Parts of Owerri zone are fast becoming engulfed in this fire of insecurity. If we do not act now, every Imo citizen may soon become a refugee in other parts of the country.

“Traditional rulers are now brutally murdered. In some instances, they are beheaded and their bodies dumped in the streets. Judges are dragged out of the courtrooms and slaughtered like rams. In the last seven days, two Catholic priests have been abducted and their whereabouts are still unknown. Things have fallen apart and Imo has become a wasteland.


“We have it in intersociety authority that over nine hundred innocent Imo citizens have been murdered in extra-judicial manners in the last 29 months. This means that at least, one person is killed every day in Imo state by those who are supposed to protect them. Nothing is ever done to ensure justice is served. Killing is now a norm in Imo state. This has to stop!

“Similarly, more than 300 Imo residents have been victims of forced disappearance, while over 500 young men in the state have fled for fear of being profiled and killed. Political opponents have been targeted for elimination. This is horrible.

“During the last election in February and March, Imo people witnessed another dimension to state-sanctioned violence. Government appointees and APC party officials led armed thugs and rogue security agents to unleash mayhem on innocent citizens in desperation to capture power. This is everything governance should not be. These atrocities must never go unpunished.

“Meanwhile, our party has documented all these cases of extrajudicial killings and human rights abuses in the state and has now commenced the process of presenting them before the International Criminal Court, so that principal officials of this anti-people government can answer to their heinous crimes against humanity.


“We have also pursued this matter to embassies and high commissions of all the American and European countries, to ensure a total and immediate visa ban is enforced on Senator Hope Uzodinma and officials of his regime.”

This story is published in partnership with Report for the World, a global service program that supports local public interest journalism.


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