- The family of the Shooting Stars footballer Izu Joseph has accused the Nigerian army of intimidating witness lined up for testimonies before the court
- Lawyers to the Joseph family said they have gathered reports of intimidation of potential witnesses by the Nigeria army
- The lawyer said eye witnesses who were previously very willing to recount the details of what transpired have suddenly become withdrawn
The family of the Shooting Stars footballer Izu Joseph has accused the Nigerian army of intimidating witness lined up for testimonies before the court.
Lawyers representing Joseph’s family during a media briefing in Port Harcourt said the army is making attempts to foil investigation on the circumstances that led to the footballer’s death, Daily Post reports.
Joseph was allegedly killed by some personnel of the Nigerian Army in Okarki community in Ahoada west local government area of Rivers state.
Soala Jumbo, who spoke on behalf of the Joseph family said they gathered reports of intimidation of potential witnesses by the Nigeria army.
Jumbo said the alleged actions of the Nigerian army were contrary to the administration of justice in Nigeria.
He further called on all relevant human right authorities in Nigeria and the National Assembly to intervene on the matter and help unravel the incident that led to Joseph’s death.
“As we have previously noted, it is not in dispute that members of the Nigerian Army killed Joseph Izu on the 16th of October, 2016, this much, the Army has admitted,” Jumbo said.
“Since that incident, however, members of the contingent of soldiers who raided the community on that fateful day have visited the community at least on two subsequent occasions.
“Reports we have received suggests the use of threats and intimidation.
“We believe that these acts are inimical to the administration of justice and have had the effect of intimidating our potential witnesses in the matter.
“Eye witnesses who were previously very willing to recount the details of what transpired have suddenly become reticent preferring to keep quiet.
“We humbly call on the highest authorities of the Nigerian Army and indeed the President and Commander in-Chief of the Armed Forces to intervene and prevent any concealment of the truth.
“We request that the particular group of soldiers fingered in this offence be temporarily decommissioned or redeployed from operating in that area until full investigation has been carried-out,” he said.
However, the Nigerian army is yet to react to the allegation leveled against it by the Joseph family.