Leading civil rights group, International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) has alleged that security forces including Army and Police have in the past eight months killed over 50 in Imo in August, 550 since Jan, disappeared 850 and abducted or unlawfully arrested and falsely labeled 3,400 in the southeast in the course of its operations.
Board Chairman of Intersociety, Emeka Umeagbalasi in a statement released in Onitsha yesterday said the Nigerian security forces especially soldiers of the Nigerian Army and personnel of the Nigerian Police Force and their principal and field officers have continued to channel over 80% of the country’s security energies and resources towards launching and sustaining genocidal attacks on members of the Igbo Ethnic Nationality and their close door neighbors in the South-south, leading to wanton killings and loss of properties .
Intersociety said the saddest of it all was that over 90% of those killed are innocent and defenseless Igbo citizens whose lives were exchanged in place of armed members of the Eastern Security Network and unarmed members of the Indigenous People of Biafra.
The report alleged that with over 90% of their principal and field officers in the East being Northern Muslim officers and same with many, if not most of their field operatives, the Nigerian security forces have as a result since January 2021 let loose on innocent and defenseless Igbo populations, randomly killing and disappearing them in their multiple hundreds or mass abducting, torturing and executing several of them in custody or captivity.
“Also over 90% of public information by Police and Army concerning the above has independently been found to be false and hatefully fabricated. They included “the recent killing of scores of ESN members in their hideouts and recovery of arms in Imo” and “military kills car snatching IPOB-ESN Bandits in Imo”. In all these, the innocent and defenseless are the target and the victims”
“Therefore, going by our updates, no fewer than 550 mostly innocent, defenseless and unarmed citizens of Eastern Nigeria belonging to Igbo Ethnic Nationality have been killed since January 2021 and the number is 660 if added to the Obigbo Army massacre and abductions of Oct-Nov 2020”
“The number of the abducted or unlawfully arrested citizens has also risen to 3,350 with no fewer than 850 others disappeared. In August 2021 alone no fewer than 50 were killed in Imo particularly in old Orlu and Owerri Zones and between January and August 2021, the State had recorded not less than 200 deaths”
“It remains our finding too that out of a fraction of “ESN operatives” killed so far, over 60% were randomly killed unarmed or abducted unarmed and killed in custody or captivity. In the case of the arrested or killed “IPOB members”, 99%, if not all were unarmed at the point of their arrest or abduction. A clear case in point was the recent torturing to death of three alleged IPOB members: Obinna Iroegbula, Onyebuchi and Sydney at the Ebonyi State CID”
“Also between June and early July 2021 fifty-seven (57) arrested Igbo citizens including Citizen Cletus Ebole were killed in custody at the Nigeria Police Force Headquarters’ IRT, Abuja and their bodies disappeared. Hundreds, if not thousands of uninvestigated and untried Igbo citizens are still languishing in police and military custodies or held secretly captive since past eight months or more without trial”
“For instance Pastor Ebele Lemoha and Uche Ekwuoha, arrested since January-March 2021 are still held incommunicado at Abuja’s former FSARS, now FCIB- IRT; likewise four married Igbo women with children and still in different stages of reproductive age. They are Mrs. Maria Ezedialu, abducted in Owerri since Feb 2021, Mrs. Ngozi Umeadi, a nursing mother arrested at a hospital in Onitsha since Feb 2021, Mrs. Ngozi Dave, abducted in Lagos since three months ago and presently has her legs and hands battered by leg chains and handcuffs; and Mrs. Ifeyinwa Ebole, arrested since March 2021 along with her husband, Cletus Ebole who was accused of “being ESN native doctor” and was among the 57 detainees secretly executed in the IRT captivity.” The group said.