...50 defenseless civilians killed in seven days by security forces in “medicine-after-death attacks in Imo, Anambra, ors
…killing of unarmed ‘IPOB’ members a clear case of class criminalization and premeditated mass murder
…senior security officers of 2015-2023 eras risking int’l isolation and blacklisting for grisly rights abuses in Nigeria
Onitsha, Eastern Nigeria
Friday, 20th May 2022
The Nigerian security forces and the present central Government of Nigeria are dangerously pushing the sedentary and pastoral Igbo population of Nigeria especially those in Southeast and South-South regions into suicide terrorism and other forms of advanced terrorist acts. It is a settled ground in modern conflict theory that “armed resistance especially that involving guerrilla or terrorism (asymmetric warfare) is better not started or caused to be started because once started even as a ragtag, it goes full blown with periodic back and forth modifications characterized by intractability and irreversibility”. This explains why the governing authority in every limited civil government is expertly advised to maximally shun policies geared towards class hatred, segregation and exclusion as well as ethnic and religious profiling, structural, physical and cultural violence.
Intersociety had long ago in 2016 warned the present central Government of Nigeria to discontinue and end its hate and discriminatory policies against the Trado-Judeo-Christian People of Eastern Nigeria especially members of Igbo Ethnic Nationality. Disappointingly and incorrigibly, the present Government of Nigeria and its security forces had not only ignored the seminal warning but also caused the birth of asymmetric armed opposition groups in the Region back in Dec 2020 and as if that was not enough, the same Nigerian Government and its security forces are dangerously pushing the fighting parties and their embryos into suicide-terrorism and other forms of advanced terrorist acts.
This is to the extent that apart from killing not less than 200 of the 400 defenseless civilians between Jan and April 2022 and burning down or destruction of 400 houses and other properties valued at between N16b and N20b in Southeast, the security forces particularly soldiers and police have also in the past seven days (12th-19th May 2022) killed not less than 50 members of the defenseless civilian Igbo population; labeling them “IPOB/ESN members”. The Nigerian security forces onslaught on Southeast lives and properties is atrociously and selectively perpetrated against members of the defenseless civilian population while turning blind eyes on real criminal entities terrorizing the innocent and defenseless civilian population of the Region. Among the real criminal and atrocious entities holding the Region and its citizens and properties hostage are Fulani jihadists who have now laid permanent siege on Isikwuato, Uturu, Okigwe and Okigwe-Arondizogu and Okigwe-Umunze axis, etc. This is to the extent that students, lecturers and travelers in the area are facing kidnapping and other terrorist activities almost on daily basis with Nigerian security forces looking the other way and focusing only on terrorizing innocent members of the public who they recklessly and indiscriminately label “ESN/IPOB members”.
The security forces have also turned blind eyes on street criminal entities including armed robbers, kidnappers, cultists, rapists, ritualists, car snatchers, premeditated murderers and extractive mineral criminal gangs as well as provide safe corridors for suspected state raised fifth columnist counterfeiters. The Nigerian Government and its security forces also appeared to be tacitly comfortable and supportive of the coordinated attacks on lives and properties of pastoral citizens of Igbo Ethnic Nationality especially the last week and this week’s violent attacks on Igbo settlements in Abuja (Dei Dei Timber Market), Sokoto and Kano States. We had expected the Nigerian Government and its security forces to act or respond in the same manner they speedily respond and unleash state coercive instruments on civilians in the Southeast. This is to the extent that till date, the Muslim fanatics that launched unprovoked violence against Igbo settlements and their properties in the aforementioned areas are still on the prowl with impunity and recklessness. Soldiers of the Nigerian Army or “Tactical or Crack Squads” of the NPF were also nowhere to be found during the mayhems. Today, affected Igbo traders and religionists are counting their losses in billions with several of them rendered pauper for life.
25 Defenseless Citizens Killed And Falsely Labeled In Imo, 15 In Anambra And 10 In Others
In the defenseless civilian killing spree that cuts across Imo, Anambra and others in seven days or May 12 to 19 2022, at least 25 persons were killed by soldiers and police in Imo State and 15 in Anambra State while not less than 10 others got killed and falsely labeled in Abia, Enugu and Ebonyi States. Their killings followed “medicine-after-death” attacks on civilian enclaves or quarters by security forces especially soldiers and police. “MEDICINE-AFTER-DEATH” attacks or killings by security forces are attacks or killings associated with hateful, deliberate, crude and arbitrary use of force by security forces on members of defenseless civilian population belonging to criminally classified ethnic group for purpose of showcasing false gallantry and class criminalization and stigmatization. They are perpetrated by security forces hours or several hours after the opposition fighting parties have violently operated and left the scenes. Security forces usually storm the scenes and open fire, shooting terminally at close range targeting civilian inhabitants or passersby with intent to kill or wound and arrest and publicly parade them as “unknown gunmen or ESN/IPOB members”. After being killed or maimed, they are publicly paraded with maliciously assembled incriminating items (such as un-prohibited firearms, cartridges and insignias or charms, etc) and textual wording or forcefully extracted voicing; with intent to label and stigmatize them.
99% Of The 50 Killed Are Defenseless Civilians
In the latest killing spree which we have substantially investigated, most or 99% of those killed and labeled by soldiers and police in Anambra, Imo and others are members of the defenseless civilian population. Also 99% of the official security information or reports given about their killing are highly questionable, if not totally false. Textual information regarding their killing or arrest or parading are also expertly fraught with inescapable loopholes. For instance, the reported killing by the Anambra State Police Command of “four sit-at-home enforcers”, “two ESN gang members at Umunze” and “two ESN gang members at Aguata”, etc, is riddled with falsity and inconsistencies. At Umunze, it was investigated and found that police stormed the Nkwo Umunze Market area hours after members of an armed fighting party had violently sacked traders in the area and destroyed some motorcycles over Monday sit-at-home. Police team had stormed the scene and opened fire, shooting terminally in different directions leading to death of two passersby and scores of violent arrests. The Police later tagged them “ESN Members”. Police also stormed Amesi-Umuchu-Umunze Road in Aguata on Monday, 16th May, 2022, hours after members of a fighting party said to be ‘ESN’ had violently dispersed students taking WAEC exams at the Christ Redeemer College, Amesi and opened fire, terminally shooting in different directions leading to killing of two defenseless citizens including one Citizen Monday Ala and a cyclist. The two slain defenseless citizens also had their motorcycles burnt to ashes by the police. Citizen Monday Ala who hailed from Lokpa-Nta in Abia State had lived in Amesi for 25 years and was into furniture occupation. He was riding to a nearby Chemist store to get some malaria drugs when he was killed by police team who also fired deadly shots to prevent his family and well wishers from recovering his body. The police team later stormed Afor Ezinifite Roundabout where they arrested scores of traders and passersby. The two dead defenseless citizens were later tagged “ESN/IPOB hoodlums”. Same was the case with the killing by police of the so called “four sit-at-home enforcers at Ogidi in Idemmili North Local Government area of Anambra State”. The “medicine-after-death” killing had taken place several hours after late Sunday night/early Monday morning (15th/16th May 2022) attacks by armed fighting parties in the area.
In Imo State, all the reports of killing of “ESN/IPOB gang members in gun battles” by soldiers and police including “attempted attack at Eze’s Palace in Orlu” and “busting by soldiers of 34 Brigade of ESN/IPOB gangs and recovery of their pump action and barrel guns, cartridges and Biafran flags hidden in a car” are highly controversial and unbelievable. For instance, in the police report about “the arrest of hoodlums/ESN/IPOB gang members that killed a police inspector who went missing since 2017”, similar inconsistencies and loopholes abound. In the same ‘gang’, it took police five years or since 2017 to find out that “one of the suspects (Casmir Mgbugha) is the husband to the missing inspector (Felicia Nwagbara)” and that “he married her as second wife, caused her disappearance and killed her with other gang members”. Police also found five years after that “he is ESN native doctor”. In the same gang, according to Imo police, “the police camouflage belonging to the missing inspector was found in possession of the gang five years after”. Also, according to police, “the same gang members were part of those that escaped from Imo Prisons in 2021 and in their possession, Biafra flag was found”. Yet, in the same gang, at least three of the arrested citizens were under-age or below 18 years of age in 2017 when the alleged criminal acts of missing and murder were committed. The above instances are just to mention but a few.
Killing Unarmed IPOB Members A Clear Case Of Mass Murder And Crimes Against Humanity
The continued targeting and killing of unarmed IPOB activists are not supported by any written law in Nigeria. This is also a clear case of mass murder and crimes against humanity as well as other internationally prohibited acts. Tagging a group ‘a terrorist group’ is never a license to target and massacre its unarmed activists; more so when the proscription is subject to litigation at the appellate court. Killing unarmed IPOB activists are clearly against the laid down rules, procedures and provisions in the Terrorism Prevention Act of 2013, the Administration of Criminal Justice Act of 2015, the Criminal Code Act of 2004 and the Chapter Four of the 1999 Constitution as well as the Int’l Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of the United Nations and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights of the African Union 1981, all ratified by Nigeria in 1993 and 1983. The targeted killing of unarmed IPOB activists by security forces of Nigeria is also part of the Government's policies of ethnic profiling, hate policing and structural, physical and cultural violence. It amounts to ‘extra legal, extra jus and extrajudicial and acts of negligence to target and kill any unarmed member of a civil class.
Senior Nigerian Security Chiefs Of 2016-2023 Eras Risking Int’l Isolation And Blacklisting
The conduct atrocities of Nigeria’s security chiefs who served since August 2015 and are presently in service till 2023 involving grisly and egregious rights abuses and violations in Nigeria or any part thereof have reached a maddening and intolerable stage. This is to the extent that the Government protected perpetrators and their condoned conduct atrocities must not internationally go unnoticed and unpunished. That is to say that there are most likely going to be international campaigns by the apostles of justice and conscientious others to ensure profiling or bureaucratic identification of those security chiefs that have held or are holding sway in the periods covering August 2015 to August 2023; for purpose of internationally isolating and blacklisting them and ensuring that they are held to account for their atrocious misdeeds in office. The targeted culprits or conduct atrocity perpetrators are those that served or are still serving in the Nigerian Army, Navy, Air Force, Police and its various crack or “special squads” as well as intelligence agencies.
For: International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law
Emeka Umeagbalasi (Criminologist), Barr Obianuju Joy Igboeli and Barr Chidimma Evangeline Udegbunam