42 rights organisations seek probe into alleged repression of pro-Biafra activists
Forty-two civil society organisations have called on the Federal Government and governors of Abia and Anambra states to initiate an independent investigation into allegations of serious human rights violations by security forces against supporters and activists of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and other pro-Biafra agitators.
The groups, in a joint statement yesterday said they were deeply concerned by revelations in Amnesty International’s recent report that highlighted a range of human rights violations committed by security forces led by the military in the South-East states of Abia, Anambra as well as South-South states of Delta and Rivers.
They include NOPRIN Foundation, Centre for Human Rights & Peace Advocacy, Foundation For Environmental Rights, Advocacy & Development (FENRAD), Bauchi Human Rights Network, Centre For Human Rights and Citizen Advocacy and Centre For Human Rights, Social Justice & Anti-Torture Initiatives.
Others are: African Centre for Media & Information Literacy, Rule of Law and Empowerment Initiative (Partners West Africa -Nigeria), Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), Access To Justice, Human Rights, Social Development and Environmental Foundation (HURSDEF), CLEEN Foundation, Global Rights & Development International and Anambra Human Rights Forum.
“We are therefore calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to, as a matter of urgency, conduct an independent and impartial investigation into these allegations, with a view to bringing the suspected perpetrators to justice in fair trials,” the civil society organisations said.
Amnesty International Nigeria had on November 24, 2016, released a damning report cataloguing violations including extra-judicial executions, enforced disappearances, torture, unlawful arrest and detention of IPOB members and supporters across the country.
Contacted on the development, Army Deputy Director of Public Relations, 82 Division Enugu, Col. Musa Sagir, said he would not like to join issues with the groups
The organisation’s research concluded that between August 2015 and August 2016, Nigeria’s security forces led by the military killed at least 150 people.
“The exact number is likely to be much higher,” the Amnesty International said.
“We the undersigned are calling on the government of Nigeria to immediately end the involvement of the military in public order operations throughout Nigeria. The governors of Abia, Anambra, Delta and Rivers states should set up judicial commissions of inquiry to investigate the allegations documented in Amnesty International’s report,” the CSOs said in their statement.
“We expected the Nigerian authorities to take the necessary steps to ensure that these allegations are vigorously investigated. We are however, disappointed that there have been no serious steps to hold suspected perpetrators into account,” the statement said.