March  04,  2014


Naija Army

The leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law; supported by theSoutheast Based Coalition of Human Rights Organizations (SBCHROs), is saddened, shocked and alarmed over the report of burning to ashes of 13 murdered members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) whose corpses were dumped in a burrow pit located in Asa area of  the Aba-Port Harcourt Road in Abia State.

Three more corpses were also discovered recently in another burrow pit behind a Mosque, which is between the Timber Market and the Arewa Onions’ Market, near Uratta Junction along Aba-Port Harcourt Road in Abia State.

The corpses were covered with leaves and soaked with chemical substances strongly suspected to be a mixture of raw acid and embalmment chemicals; for the purposes of disfigurement, erasing traces and making the corpses odorless. They are also strongly suspected to be murdered members of IPOB in Abia State and environs.

It is recalled that members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), numbering hundreds had on 9th of February 2016 converged at the National High School in Aba, Abia State, for the purpose of embarking on prayer procession within the School for the release of their leader, Prince Nnamdi Kanu; the Prince of Umuahia Kingdom in Abia State who had been detained and denied release since 15th of October 2015 on the orders of Retired Gen Muhammadu Buhari.  Thirty (30) minutes into the prayer procession, a combined team of Army, Navy and Police violently stormed the arena in over ten hilux vans and minutes later, hell was let loose on the peaceful IPOB members and 22 of them were gunned down and violently killed while over 30 others got critically injured.

The killer-soldiers of the 144 Battalion under the command of Lt Col Umar Kasim Sidi picked up the corpses of seven IPOB members and five critically injured others as well as some married women and took them away till date. The coordinators and organizers of the prayer procession including Citizens Ikechukwu Ugwuoha, Amos Ezekiel, Okechukwu Nnebedum Nkume, Donatus Okeke and Joseph Okolie were before the shooting, arrested and taken away by the Abia State Police Command and later arraigned for “treasonable felony”.

The five IPOB activists alongside 15 others are presently remanded in Aba Prisons. Video clips of the carnage are available. In the non-violent and peaceful protests organized by IPOB members in the same Aba on 18th and 29th of January 2016, the same soldiers of the 144 battalion opened fire on them, killing scores of them and critically injuring others. The corpses of those killed and some critically injured ones were also reportedly taken away by the soldiers till date.

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On Friday, 12th of February 2016, an alarm was raised and immediate attention of the IPOB leadership in Aba drawn by some scavengers that 13 murdered corpses were seen in a burrow pit located in Asa, along Aba-Port Harcourt Road in Abia State. The IPOB members mobilized to the site and saw the corpses themselves. Our team also visited Aba including the site on Friday, 12th, Sunday, 14th and Monday, 15th of February 2016.

The research team of Amnesty International, UK, visited the site on Thursday, 18th of February 2016. One of the shocking discoveries made on the spot by Amnesty International team per Comrade Justus Ijeoma; witnessed by some IPOB surviving members who attended the bloody prayer session of 9th of February 2016; was how some of the murdered IPOB activists dumped in the burrow pit were tied with pieces of “Biafra flag” with their hands tied behind their backs. Further independent investigations into the carnage have since continued.

On 21st of February 2016, the Nigerian Army publicly claimed via its Provost Marshal, Big General Ayuba Tedman Hamman; reported by the Sundiata Post; an online media outfit that it had dispatched an investigative team to Aba to ascertain the veracity or otherwise of the 9th of February 2016 massacre of 22 members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and dumping of 13 of them in Aba-Port Harcourt Road Burrow Pit. On 22nd of February 2016, we issued a public statement welcoming the announcement of the Nigerian Army; “provided it is not a cover-up mission”.


We also listed conditions under which such “investigative mission” can be acceptable to us and deemed “credible”. Sadly, neither IPOB, nor victims’ families or Intersociety/SBCHROs had been contacted by the so called “army investigative team” till date. Also as we write, the authorities of Nigeria’s Ministry of Interior and Defense Headquarters of the Nigerian Armed Forces, whom we addressed “a two-in-one” letter containing statistical details (including pieces of pictorial and video clip evidence) of the Onitsha and Aba IPOB massacres and associated deadly use of State violence, leading to grave maiming of at least 170 IPOB members and their sympathizers since 30th of August 2015, are yet to respond or reply us despite our  confirmation of successful delivery of the letters of ours under reference, dated 16th of February 2016.

Worried and saddened by “silence of the graveyard” maintained by the authorities of the Government of Abia State particularly the dumping and abandonment of 16 corpses of suspected IPOB members in two burrow pits in the State, we caused a detailed letter to be addressed to the Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu, PhD. The letter was dated 2nd of March 2016 and referenced and tiled:Intersociety/001/03/016/ASG/UM and Dumping & Abandonment Of 13 Murdered IPOB Activists In A Burrow Pit: A Demand For Appropriate Action To Be Taken By Your Government. A copy of the referenced letter is attached below.

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