Nigerian Army, Police Killed 115, Unlawfully Arrested 500 Persons In South East In Four Months —Amnesty International |RN

Among those who became victims of ruthless attacks of the security operatives were the volunteers of the Eastern Security Network

No fewer than 115 people have been killed and 500 arrested in the South-East region of the country by Nigerian security agents in four months.

Also, both the military and police have jointly tortured innocent civilians and subjected them to cruel treatment in their numerous raids.

Among those who became victims of ruthless attacks of the security operatives were the volunteers of the Eastern Security Network (ESN), a militia arm of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

These revelations were made by Amnesty International in a Press Release obtainable to SaharaReporters on Wednesday.

“Amnesty International documented at least 115 persons killed by security forces between January and June 2021. Many relatives of the victims told Amnesty International that they were not part of the militants that were attacking security agents.

“Many of the victims were deposited at government hospitals in Imo and Abia states. According to several hospital sources all the victims deposited by the police had bullet injuries.

“Nigerian security forces have committed a catalogue of human rights violations and crimes under international law in their response to spiralling violence in southeast Nigeria, carrying out a repressive campaign since January which has included sweeping mass arrests, excessive and unlawful force, and torture and other ill-treatment,” said Amnesty International in the statement.

Most of the alleged atrocities unleashed by the nation’s main security agents were carried out in Imo, Anambra and Abia states.

“The evidence gathered by Amnesty International paints a damning picture of ruthless excessive force by Nigerian security forces in Imo, Anambra and Abia states,” said Osai Ojigho, Country Director at Amnesty International.

According to the statement, the security agents haunted South-East residents who they believed were part of the ESN that have killed their men and attacked government infrastructural facilities.

The non-governmental human rights organisation also stated that media firms and eyewitnesses documented some of these inhumane activities of the army and police against armless civilians.

“Nigeria’s government has responded with a heavy hand to killings and violence widely attributed to the armed group calling itself Eastern Security Network (ESN), the armed wing of the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB), a pro-Biafra movement.

“According to government officials, the ESN killed dozens of security operatives and attacked at least ten public buildings, including prisons, police stations, and other public buildings from January to June. In response, security forces comprising military, police, and Department of State Services (DSS) have killed dozens of gunmen, as well as civilians where attacks have been committed. 

“Eyewitnesses told Amnesty International that the security forces have engaged in excessive use of force, physical abuse, secret detentions, extortion, burning of houses, theft, and extra-judicial executions of suspects.

“Human rights groups estimated that the death toll of violence between January and June 2021 in Anambra, Imo, Abia, and Ebonyi states might run into the hundreds. The police said ESN fighters killed 21 of its personnel in Imo state alone.

“Amnesty International carried out an extensive investigation to document the human rights violations and crimes under international law in Anambra, Imo, Ebonyi and Abia states from January 2021.

“The organisation documented 52 incidents of unlawful killings and 62 cases of arbitrary arrest, ill-treatment and torture. Media reports, video and audio recordings reviewed show that the Nigerian security forces also employed excessive force and other unlawful means to address the rising violence,” the statement continued.

While establishing some of the horrible occurrences, the Amnesty International buttressed its points with the incident of a German-based Uguchi Unachukwu killed by soldiers at Sam Mbakwe Airport in Owerri at the last day of May. It also spoke about another man, Matthew Opara shot dead by soldiers near Owerri on May 25.  

“Uguchi Unachukwu, a German-based businessman was killed by soldiers on 31 May at a checkpoint near Owerri airport on his way out of the country. The police are yet to investigate the crime.

“Mathew Opara, a 45-year-old businessman, was shot by soldiers on 25 May 2021 in Orji, near Owerri. Witnesses told Amnesty International that he was returning from work when he ran into a team of soldiers in an armoured vehicle and Hilux vans shooting at residents.

“He was shot in the chest and could not receive immediate medical help because of the violence. His family said the military acknowledged the killing but did not launch an investigation or offer any apology,” Amnesty International added.

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Amnesty International Call On Nigeria To Respect Human Rights Of Sowore, Other Political Prisoners |RN

Sahara Reporters founder, Omoyele Sowore

Amnesty international has reacted to the seven-count charge of treasonable felony and money laundering against detained activist and Convener of #RevolutionNow protest, Omoyele Sowore by the Federal Government.

Sowore, a presidential candidate in the February 2019 presidential election was charged along with Olawale Bakare, also known as Mandate.

The charges were signed on behalf of t‎he Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), by Aminu Alilu, a Chief State Counsel in the Department of Public Prosecutions of the Federation‎, the Federal Ministry of Justice.

In the charges instituted against the defendants, the prosecution accused Sowore and his co-defendant of committing conspiracy to commit treasonable felony in breach of section 516 of the Criminal Code Act by allegedly staging “a revolution campaign on September 5, 2019 aimed at removing the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

The prosecution also accused them of committing the actual offence of reasonable felony in breach of section, 4(1)(c) of the Criminal Code Act, by using the platform of Coalition for Revolution, in August 2019 in Abuja, Lagos and other parts of Nigeria, to stage the #RevolutionNow protest allegedly aimed at removing the President.

It also accused Sowore of cybercrime offences in violation of section 24(1)(b) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention) Act, by “knowingly” sending “messages by means of press interview granted on Arise Television network which you knew to be false for the purpose of causing insult, enmity, hatred and ill-will on the person of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

Reacting, Amnesty international in a post on its verified Twitter page condemned the charges.

The global rights human organization described the charges against Sowore “as an attempt by the Nigerian authorities to deprive Sowore of his human rights”

The post read: “Amnesty International condemns the bizarre charges pressed on activist Omoyele Sowore for expressing his views in media interviews.

“The trumped up charges he is facing show an attempt by the Nigerian authorities to deprive him of his human rights; Omoyele Sowore continued incarceration on application of the Terrorism Act for exercising his right to freedom of expression is a misuse of the criminal system to silence dissent.

“We call on the Nigerian authorities to respect and protect human rights of all persons without discrimination and ensure that it does not use its laws to justify violations of Omoyele Sowore human rights.”

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Nigerian Military, Amnesty International Disagree Over Threat Allegation |RN



Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye and Molly Kilete, Abuja

The Nigerian military and Amnesty International (AI)are at loggerheads over alleged threats and smear campaign.
AI said it has been the subject of threats and smear campaigns by the military since May 24 when it released a report, “They Betrayed Us,” which documented the prevalence of sexual violence against starving women and girls in satellite camps which are under the control of Nigerian soldiers and militia.

But, AI Director in Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, has vowed that they will not be deterred from defending human rights in the country.
In a statement by its Media Manager, Isa Sanusi, given to newsmen in Abuja, yesterday, AI insisted it always  share findings of its investigations with the military before publication, requesting for its inputs but, “they either completely ignore these attempts to engage, or referred us to other arms of government, in a clear attempt to evade our questions.

“The Nigerian military is increasingly resorting to threats, intimidation and smears to discredit Amnesty International’s work documenting the human rights violations it has committed. On 24 May 2018, the organization released a report, “They Betrayed Us”, which documented the prevalence of sexual violence against starving women and girls detained in satellite camps under the control of Nigerian soldiers and militia.

“The Nigerian military responded by organising smear campaigns and issuing threats to “take action against Amnesty International.

“Rather than taking action to address the issues raised in this report, like investigating countless allegations of rape and other war crimes, the Nigerian military has fallen back on its usual hostile tactics of denials and threats,” said Ojigho.
Amnesty International has also released reports on the multiple, horrific cases of abuse carried out by Boko Haram and human rights violations by the Nigeria Police Force.

Regardless, the Nigerian Armed Forces have dismissed AI’s claims.

Director, Defence Information, Brigadier General John Agim, who debunked the allegation said AI seems to be running away from its shadow as the military has never and will never reduce itself to begin to issue threats to any person or group of persons; no matter the level of provocation.

In his reaction to AI’s allegation, Agim challenged the international organisation to the state where, when and how the threat was issued to them.

He told Daily Sun, yesterday, that it is a known fact that AI has always communicated to the military through the media, with its series of allegations, instead of putting them in writing.

“Did they say we wrote a letter to them or we sent somebody?

“Those people are being pursued by their wickedness, not the military because we don’t have anything to do with them at all”

“We have never had any contact with AI.

“They don’t write to us so, where is this threat allegation coming from?

“In fact, they hold their press briefings and we respond through the media; we have never had any contact with AI

“So, the threat, did they read it on the pages of newspapers because they refused to deal with us?

“They prefer to hold international press conferences and tell lies against the military and we respond through the same international press conferences.

“We don’t have anything to do with them. We don’t have any contact with them.

“I don’t even know the person who is behind AI or where the person comes from

“Ask them if they ever have spoken to us. Have we ever written to them?

“We talk to the media just as they are writing to the media, so, where is the threat coming from?

“They have never contacted us in their write-ups and we, too, don’t contact them. We are talking in the media space. If they have done something wrong, they should be afraid.” (The Sun)

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Dapchi Girls: Military Accuses Amnesty Int’l Of Undermining Terrorism War |RN

By Emmanuel Onani, Abuja



The Defence Headquarters (DHQ), has accused Amnesty International (AI) of undermining efforts at ending the ongoing counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism war in the North East.

In its reaction to claims by AI, that it received phone calls hours before the attack on Government Girls’ Science and Technical College in Dapchi, Yobe State, the DHQ challenged the global watchdog to come clean on its allegation, which it described as false.

This was as the Nigeria Police also debunked claims that it ran away when the suspected terrorist elements struck.

In a statement by the Acting Director of Defence Information (DDI), Brig-Gen. John Agim, the military questioned the motive of AI, insisting that the global body had consistently demonstrated hatred for the Armed Forces of Nigeria.

To buttress his position, Agim said AI had released similar reports in January and February, wherein it cast doubt on the gains of the military.

It, therefore, concluded that the organisation was undertaking a campaign of calumny against the State.

” Amnesty International always brings out damming reports about the Nigerian Military at strategic points. They did that in the previous administration and the United States invoked the Leahy Law against Nigeria at the peak of the Boko Haram insurgency.

“Within this year, Amnesty International issued reports against the Military in January 2018, February 2018 and now March 2018. The question is; what is the motive of the AI?”, Agim. The DDI drew parallels with what happened during the last administration, saying the latest campaign was aimed at scuttling the latest cooperation between the United States and the Federal Government, on the supply of arms to clear remnants of Boko Haram.

” The question is; what is the motive of the AI? The answer is simple; President Donald Trump of the United States of America has agreed to collaborate with the current government of Nigeria to end the insurgency in the North East and AI wants to do everything within its powers to make sure that the US-Nigeria anti-terrorism cooperation does not succeed in accordance with their paymasters’ design.

” The question Amnesty International has not answered satisfactorily is; which of the security forces and what unit was informed that a convoy of Boko Haram fighters were heading towards Dapchi where they abducted Dapchi school girls? What was the telephone numbers used to inform the Military or the Police?

“Why has AI refused to communicate its findings with the Federal Government’s Committee set up to investigate what happened before, during and after Dapchi girls abduction? Is AI trying to undermine the outcome of this committee? The answer is simple, AI is not ready to contribute towards finding a solution to our problems, if anything, they are ready to complicate the problems”, Agim said.

According to the Defence spokesman: ” Within the military and amongst well-meaning Nigerians at home and in the diaspora, we know that AI is an organ established to embark on an orchestrated campaign of calumny against the Nigerian Military and undermine its laudable achievements against Boko Haram.

“Unfounded and inaccurate reports such as this by AI is completely unacceptable, and only exist in the figment of AI imaginations and should be discountenanced by well-meaning Nigerians and foreign friendly nations.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the Armed Forces of Nigeria is more than ever, poised to bring the activities of Boko Haram Terrorists to a complete end and no amount of discouraging fabrications by the AI will deter the military from achieving its constitutionally assigned responsibilities. The defence of our national territorial integrity is our utmost goal and as such the Armed Forces in conjunction with sister security agencies will continue to strive towards entrenching peace in the North-East and indeed every part of this great nation. .”

Agim continued: “Apart from questioning the motive of Amnesty International, it is pertinent to state that most of their narratives are outright falsehood and a calculated attempt to whip up sentiments and mislead unsuspecting Nigerians, demoralise friendly nations and people collaborating with security forces to end the forces of evil in the North-East.

“For the avoidance of doubts, no security force was informed of Dapchi school girls abduction as alleged by AI. The Nigerian public and the International Community should know that the Armed Forces of Nigeria is a professional military and has attained the highest form of professionalism in line with international best practices.

” And so, could not have ignored warnings of Boko Haram attack only to work tirelessly to get the girls back.”.

Meanwhile, the Yobe State Police Command has said it did not abdicate its responsibility on the day of the attack.

A statement by the Command’s Commissioner of Police, read: ” The attention of the Yobe State Police Command has been drawn to the publication… of 20/03/2018 on the issue of the Dapchi attack that the Police was informed hours before the attack on Dapchi town on 19/02/2018.

“The assertion is nothing but a mere speculation on its time frame as it is completely not correct.

“Furthermore, the insinuation that the Police ran away is not true as the only near fatal casualty was a Policeman wounded and now recuperating in the hospital.

“The Yobe State Police Command will continue to cooperate with other security agencies in ensuring safety and protection of lives and property of people of Yobe State.” (New Telegraph)

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FG Rejects Amnesty International Report On ‘Extreme’ Human Rights Violations

The Federal Government has formally rejected the 2015/2016 annual report of Amnesty International (AI) which accused the country’s security and military forces of “extreme” human rights violations and brutal response to security concerns, such as the Biafra agitation, Boko Haram insurgency and Shiites’ movement of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN).
Government sid this in a statement signed by Clement Aduku, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at the weekend.
In the AI report, published in February, the global rights watchdog accused Nigeria’s military of unlawful killings, detention and inhumane treatment of pro-Biafra campaigners, civilians in the north-east and members of the IMN, including its leader, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, as well as a clampdown on freedom of speech.
But, the federal government, through the Foreign Affairs ministry, has questioned the credibility of the AI report and insisted both IMN and pro-Biafra activists were national security threats.
“The ministry wishes to point out that the case of El-Zakzaky, which Amnesty International pronounced on, is a high and national security issue.
“The activities of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) and the El-Zakzaky movement in particular are reminiscent of Boko Haram which has become a menace and security concern not only to the Nigeria, but also the Lake Chad Basin region and the entire world. Activities of the El-Zakzaky movement is one that cannot be tolerated by any progressive democratic government.”
The ministry noted that government has appealed the December 2016 court ruling that El-Zakzaky be released unconditionally.
The IMN leader and his wife have been in detention, without trial, since December 2015 after a deadly clash with the Nigerian Army on December 12 of that year, which killed hundreds of his followers, for denying Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, right of way in Zaria, Kaduna State.
While no soldier is being prosecuted for killing or ordering the killing of the hundreds of Shiites, Kaduna State Government has since proscribed IMN.
On the AI report on Biafran agitation, the foreign ministry said  “the agitation for a sovereign State of Biafra is unacceptable and detrimental to the peace, unity, stability and development of the Nigerian state. The scenario captured and the report itself lacked conformity to both local and international best standards on evidence gathering,” said the ministry.
In a clampdown on Biafran agitators, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has remained in detention and is being tried for treason by the federal government.
Nonetheless, government has expressed commitment to safeguarding citizens’ rights to freedom of expression and association, and that security personnel found to have flouted rules of engagement would be appropriately dealt with.   (The Sun)

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Amnesty International Siding With Non-state Actors To Incite Citizens Against Gov’t-Military


The Nigerian Military has accused Amnesty International of siding with non-state actors to incite citizens against the federal Government as well Security agencies

Speaking on Channels TV Sunrise Daily, Director of Defence Information, Brig. Gen. Rabe Abubakar frowned at the report by the organisation which claimed the Nigerian military was engaged in extrajudicial killings.

Brig. Gen. Rabe said, “Amnesty Int. Claim that we shot people. How can you even dream of saying you killed 100 persons, your own people.

He expressed surprise that amnesty international has never attempted to commend the military for restoring peace in troubled parts of Nigeria but was always quick to write negative reports against the security agencies.

He said, “Amnesty Int. is siding with the non-state actors to incite citizens against it own Gov. and Security Operators.

“Amnesty Int. has never commended the efforts we are making to be sure that Nigeria regains it’s lost the glory of stability.  (

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Biafra, Borno Killings: You Are Lying, Nigerian Military Tells Amnesty

From Molly Kilete, Abuja

The Defence Headquarters(DHQ), yesterday, described a report by Amnesty International (AI), accusing the military of killing 417 innocents Nigerians as another “spurious fabrications”, aimed at tarnishing the good image of the Nigerian military.

AI had, in its recent report, accused the Armed Forces of killing 240 people, including babies, in Borno State and another 177 pro-Biafran agitators in the South East.

Director of Defence Information, Brigadier-General Abubakar Rabe, who made this known in Abuja, said the report, which has no iota of truth, was orchestrated to blackmail and ridicule the Nigerian Armed Forces which Amnesty International had unsuccessfully tried to do in the past.

“Nigerian military rejects this AI report in its entirety and appeals to all well meaning Nigerians to disregard the report and discountenance its contents as they were meant to paint Nigeria in a bad light.”  The defence spokesman, while reassuring Nigerians of the commitment and determination of the armed forces to end the myriads of insecurity facing the country, urged AI to be mindful of unfounded reports and cheap blackmail.

“It is on record that Amnesty International embarked on series of false allegations against the Nigerian military and other security forces as far back as the inception of the military action against terrorists in the North-East.

“Amnesty International would only encourage activities of non-state actors who take up arms against the state, killing, maiming and destroying public property, but would always accuse security forces who are sacrificing everything to restore peace and normalcy.”

Rabe, in the statement, said: “in as much as the Nigerian military acknowledges and respects the views and constructive criticism of individuals, groups or even international organisations, including Amnesty International, it will not fall for nor accept the deliberate falsehood that has no bearing with the fact or reality on the ground.”

“The truth is the Nigerian military has always been open in its operations, and do not hide its activities from the probing eye of the public. Amnesty International chose to bandy fabricated reports and concocted stories instead of seeking clarifications from the relevant authorities.”

The Defence Headquarters run an open door policy in terms of information on.”

“its activities in the Northeast or elsewhere, and is ever ready to provide clarifications on any issue. On a number of times the National Human Rights Commission had sent its delegation to seek clarification on issues they are not comfortable with, and in each occasion, the DHQ always obliged them with the information they sought.  AI would rather contrive their report to suit their intention which is to cast a slur on the image and integrity of the Nigerian military. It smacks of mischief for the AI to insist on publishing an unverified and unsubstantiated report and only it knows why it embarks on such dishonourable venture over a period of time”.  (The Sun)

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