Ondo killing: Perpetrators must face justice, Amnesty says

By Oluwaseun Sonde

The Amnesty International has said that the perpetrators of the killing of more than 20 worshippers, including women and children, at St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State on Sunday, must face justice.

Reacting to the horrific attack, Amnesty International Nigeria Director, Osai Ojigho said what happened in Owo reveals impunity enjoyed by gunmen on the rampage across Nigeria.

“This tragic event should offer a wake-up call for the authorities, who must now do everything they can to ensure the perpetrators of this appalling crime face justice”, Ojigho added.

On 5 June 2022, gunmen entered the St. Francis Church in southwest Nigeria at around noon as Sunday mass was ending. They shot at worshippers and detonated dynamite, killing at least 20 and critically injuring many others.

The Director stated that this brutal attack shows a complete disregard for the right to life. Under international human rights law, Nigeria has a duty to protect the right to life of its people in all circumstances.

“Victims and their families have a right to know the truth about this shooting and to be provided with justice and reparations”.

Ojigho noted that Amnesty International is calling on the Nigerian judicial authorities to immediately launch a thorough and impartial investigation to identify the perpetrators of this crime, and to prosecute and judge them in fair trials, without recourse to the death penalty.

Meanwhile, residents told Amnesty International that the attack lasted about 15 minutes, during which time there was no immediate response from security forces.

While the Ondo attack came almost two months after at least eight people were killed on a train from Abuja to Kaduna”, Amnesty recalled.

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