Honourable Minister of Interior, Federal Ministry of Interior
Old Secretariat, Area 1, Garki, FCT, Abuja, Nigeria
Chief of Defense Staff, the Defense Headquarters
FCT, Abuja, Nigeria
Ceaseless Killing Of Unarmed Citizens In Nigeria: Why Security Chiefs Must Desist From Provoking More Insurgencies Capable Of Plunging Nigeria Into Syrian Styled Violence (Part One)
Reasons For Pro-Biafran Peaceful Protests: It is further recall, Sirs, that tens of thousands of members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and millions of their supporters had since July 2015 involved in peaceful and non violent street protests in 10 States of the Southeast and the South-south zones except Edo State. They also protested in Lagos, Abuja and dozens of foreign countries in Europe, North America and Asia. The protests peaked between October and December 2015 following the arrest and long and unconstitutional detention without fair charge and trial of the leader of IPOB, Prince Nnamdi Kanu. Citizen Nnamdi Kanu was arrested on 14th October 2015 and had never been released on bail till date despite several court orders either ordering for his conditional release or unconditional release. The causes of these peaceful and non violent protests, Sirs are fundamentally founded on escalation and entrenchment of individual (personal insecurity) and group (structural insecurity) violence against the Igbo Ethnic Nationality in Nigeria.
In other words, Sirs, their peaceful and non violent protests were geared towards drawing the attentions of the Nigerian authorities and members of the international community over escalated and unaddressed threats to personal security and safety and other unsafe conditions (personal violence) as well as gross geopolitical imbalances and lopsidedness against the Igbo Ethnic Nationality particularly the Southeast Zone in matters of federal distribution of material and human resources (collective violence). Totality of the foregoing is seen by them as constituting a dangerous threat to their existence, development and enjoyment of inalienable and statute rights provided by the Constitution and the international rights conventions. Deprivation of these inalienable rights has made members of the Igbo Ethnic Nationality and other Southern Ethnic Nationalities endangered species in Nigeria. The peaceful and nonviolent protests gained currency following the Buhari administration’s soft spot for politics of exclusion and socio-ethnic divisiveness. The grand purpose of these peaceful and non violent protests under reference is for the Nigerian authorities to address the social anomalies complained of, non-violently, competently and satisfactorily.
Consequences Of Government Violent Crackdown: From our recent extensive investigations, Sirs, at least 80 innocent Nigerian citizens and mostly, members of the Igbo Ethnic Nationality in Nigeria who are sympathetic to pro Biafran self determination agitation, have been killed by Nigerian security forces since 30th August 2015. The victims of the referenced butcheries have never used or advocated violence. The leading killer-security force is the Nigerian Army, followed by the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigerian Navy.
Over 170 other innocent and unarmed citizens have also been shot and critically injured while about 400 others or more have been arrested, charged or detained without trial. Hundreds of them are currently facing charges contrary to democratic free speech in various magistrate courts in Southern Nigeria. Scores are also being detained without trial amidst torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatments or punishment in the hands of the personnel of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF). There are also reported cases of disappearances, abductions and pretrial killing of members of IPOB particularly in Southern Nigeria. In the context of security forces atrocity index, the Nigerian Army accounts for 60% of the atrocities while the Nigeria Police is responsible for 30%; leaving the remaining 10% to other security forces including the Nigerian Navy. The Nigeria Police Force is solely responsible for indiscriminate arrests and disappearances of citizens, whom it labels “IPOB/MASSOB” members.
Detailed Statistics: For the avoidance of doubt, Sirs, among the 80 murdered citizens are 4 killed in Awka and Onitsha on 30th August 2015; 13 killed in Onitsha on 2nd December 2015; 12 killed in Onitsha on 17th December 2015 (eight were killed on the spot and four others died in hospital following gunshot wounds); eight killed in Aba on 18th January 2016; six killed in Aba on 29th January 2016 and 22 killed in Aba on 9th February 2016. There were other killings that went unreported or unaccounted for till date.
We further inform, Sirs, that 60% of the murdered citizens were shot and killed on the spot by soldiers. Their corpses were picked up by the same soldiers, taken to secret destinations and buried or dumped in secret graves or borrow pits. In most cases, if not in all cases, Sirs, the said murdered citizens have their hands tied behind their backs, poured raw acid or other defacing and decimating chemical substances and laid face down to avoid easy identification and to erase traces. Those critically shot and injured by soldiers who are at the point of death are routinely shot dead and buried or dumped in a like manner.
Dead Victims: Among the four citizens killed in Onitsha and Awka on 30th August 2015 are Ebuka Nnolum of Enuguabo-Ufuma in Anambra State and Obasi Maduka of Oshiri in Ebonyi State. Among 13 citizens killed in Onitsha on 2nd December 2015 are: Miss Anthonia Nkiruka Ikeanyionwu (Anambra State), Kenneth Ogadinma (Abia State), Chima Onoh (Enugu State), Angus Chikwado (Anambra State) and Miss Felicia Egwuatu (Anambra State). The remaining eight citizens shot and killed by soldiers of the Onitsha Military Cantonment commanded by Col Isa Abdullahi were taken away and secretly buried or dumped in undisclosed locations till date.
Also, out of 12 citizens killed in Onitsha on 17th December 2015, only four who died in the hospital were identified. One of them is Citizen Okwu Friday. The identities of three others cannot be disclosed here as pleaded by their families. The corpses of the remaining eight citizens shot and killed on the 17th of December 2015 were taken away by soldiers of the Onitsha Military Cantonment. Among the 22 murdered citizens in the Aba Prayer/Meeting session of IPOB on 9th of February 2016 are: Uche Friday (30yrs), from Asa in Abia State; Emeka Ekpemandu (35yrs), from Owerre Nkwoji in Imo State; Chiavoghi Chibuikem (Obingwa in Abia State); Nzubechi Onwumere (Orlu in Imo State); Peter Chinemerem Ukasoanya (27yrs), from Isialangwa North in Abia State, Chigozie Cyril Nwoye (23yrs), from Umuna in Ezeagu, Enugu State; Chukwudi Onyekwere (26yrs), from Aboh Mbaise in Imo State; and Chibuzor Maduagwu (28yrs), from Amauzari in Mbano, Imo State.
The remaining 12 dead bodies of murdered IPOB members were taken away by soldiers of 144 Battalion of the Nigerian Army, located at Asa in Ukwa West LGA of Abia. The 144 Battalion is commanded by Lt Col Kasim Umar Sidi. The Abia State Police Command had earlier admitted publicly of shooting and killing two IPOB members (“for disturbing students of the National High School in Aba”). The Command is presently and officially in possession of the two dead IPOB members it shot and killed.
For: International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Onitsha, Southeast Nigeria)
Emeka Umeagbalasi, B.Sc., Criminology & Security Studies; M.Sc. (Candidate), Peace Studies & Conflict Resolution
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Obianuju Joy Igboeli, Esq., LLB, BL; LLM (Candidate)
Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Program
Mobile Line: +2348034186332
Attachments: (1) video CD containing images of the IPOB peaceful prayers/meeting at the National High School and mass shooting & killing of their members by soldiers, police & Navy personnel in Abia State. (2) Photos of 11 murdered IPOB members dumped inside Aba-Port Harcourt Road Borrow Pit by soldiers of the 144 Battalion of the Nigerian Army, near Aba.
1. National Security Adviser, Retired Gen Babagana Mungono
2. Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon Justice Mahmud Mohammed