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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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Ohanaeze Furious About Alleged Random Massive Arrest Of Igbo Youths By Nigerian Army |The Republican News

■Wonders why military leaves AK-47 carrying Fulani herdsmen but arrest unarmed Igbo youths


By Anayo Okoli

OHANAEZE Ndigbo has raised alarm over the alleged massive arrest of Igbo youths by the Nigerian army and taken to unknown destinations.

Ohanaeze said the mass arrest is going on in Ohaji and Oguta Communities of Imo State by military personnel believed to be from 34 Artillery Brigade, Owerri.

The arrested youths were alleged to be members of Eastern Security Network, ESN, according to the apex Igbo group.

Ohanaeze wondered why the army were arresting Igbo youths who bear no arms and allow Fulani herdsmen to move around with AK 47 riffles.

They called on the Chief of army staff to immediately stop the mass arrests.

The Professor George Obiozor led Ohanaeze in a statement signed by its spokesman, Alex Ogbonnia said: “The attention of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has been drawn to ongoing massive arrests of Igbo youths by the Nigerian Army.

The report indicates that “the military personnel, suspected to be led by the 34 Artillery Brigade, Owerri since Sunday have been arresting male residents and youths, particularly in Oguta and Ohaji communities and clamping them into vans and taken to unknown destinations”.

“The report adds that the army are “busy, carrying out raids, discreet searches and arrests of youths and residents who are suspected to be linked to the Indigenous People of Biafra and its security arm, the Eastern Security Network”.

“For the avoidance of doubt, Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by Ambassador Prof. George Obiozor is unequivocal about the use of firearms by unauthorized persons, bodies or groups. Democracy, all over the world vests the absolute authority for the legitimate use of force in government. We had admonished that the exclusive indulgence of AK 47 to the Fulani herdsmen as canvassed by Governor Bala Mohammed is antithetical to the ethos of a decent society.

“For the armed forces to arrest the Igbo youths without evidence of arms, means of violence or crime is cowardly, uncivilized and mostly unacceptable to Ohanaeze Ndigbo. It runs contrary to every sense of natural justice and rights of citizenship for the army to invade some Igbo communities in search of youths; most of whom are brilliant university graduates whose society has denied employment and sense of belonging. This is adding salt to festering injury.

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo does not just wax lyrical about Igbo youths of all categories or dispositions.

“We condemn crime irrespective of the source. On the other hand, we stand on a firm wicket that it is ruthless to arrest any Igbo in the guise of membership of a terrorist organization unless there is sufficient evidence of crime or unlawful possession of firearms.

“We call on the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Ibrahim Attahiru to urgently stop the wave of arrests before it gives impetus to the proposal by the United Kingdom Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to offer asylum to person who actively and openly supports IPOB and likely to be at risk of arrest or detention, and ill-treatment which is likely to amount to persecution”.

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