By G9ija

Chairman of Imo State Panel on Police Brutality and Extra-judicial Killings, Justice Florence Duroha-Igwe (rtd.) has decried the poor response of police officers to the its invitations, describing it as worrisome.

Duroha-Igwe, who stated this yesterday in Owerri, the state capital, disclosed that the commission had received 80 petitions from the initial two it received during the inaugural sitting on November 3, 2020.

She expressed optimism that despite police shunning of its invitations, the commission would continue to carry out its duties and administer justice, as long as it would not work as a court.x

According to her, the six weeks given to the 16-man panel to produce its report would be realised on time.

She disclosed that the panelists had embarked on tours of the public facilities destroyed by the protesters in the state with the view of assessing the level of destruction and recommending to the government on what to do.

Meanwhile, in a bid to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) prevalence in the state, the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), said it would soon commence training of key stakeholders on laws prohibiting abuse of girl-child and other forms of violence against children (VAC).

Speaking at the end of a two-day workshop organised by National Orientation Agency (NOA) and UNICEF for community and religious leaders in Ideato North Council Area of the state in Urualla, yesterday, UNICEF Consultant for Imo and Ebonyi states, Ben Mbakwem, said the participants would include law enforcement officials, teachers and health workers.

He added that some selected communities leaders would also be trained as surveillance team to help deepen awareness against the FGM practice in their localities as well as monitor its strict compliance.

Mbakwem said the essence of the training was to equip the trainees with requisite skill to provide quality prevention, protection and response services to girls/women at risk and survivors of FGM.

He further stated that it would also expose them on the best way of prosecuting the defaulters and; on the application of relevant laws prohibiting the practice in the state.

Also, the State Director of NOA, Vitus Ekeocha, said the agency had over the years engaged and partnered with relevant agencies and critical stakeholders to encourage policies, legislations and programmes that would ensure protection of the girl-child, minors, vulnerable persons and women in the state.