A leading human rights organisation, Intersociety has reacted to a statement from Nigeria’s Secret Police, the Department of State Security Services (DSS, also known as SSS) released on Saturday, April 9, 2016.
In the statement the DSS said that it has uncovered 55 shallow graves in a forest in Abia State and 5 of the graves are those of “Hausa-Fulani” men who were allegedly abducted and murdered by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), a pro-Biafra advocacy group.
The IPOB is a non-violence group with members all around the world. Their leader, Nnamdi Kanu has been detained by the Nigerian government since October 2015 on the orders of President Muhammadu Buhari and several court orders for his release have never been obeyed by agents of the government. In a media chat in December 2015, Buhari disclosed that Kanu was being denied on his (the president’s) personal belief that “people like Nnamdi Kanu don’t deserve bail”.
IPOB has been staging peaceful protests demanding the release of Kanu and Nigerian troops and police, acting on the orders of President Buhari have been killing unarmed protesters. Mass graves and burrow pits where Nigerian troops bumped murdered IPOB members have been discovered by Intersociety and other human rights organisations. Also, just last week, Intersociety revealed that it uncovered a “secret” mortuary in Onitsha where Nigerian soldiers dumped the corpses of IPOB members who were jubilating a court decision for the release of Kanu on the Niger Bridge.
The group, in this statement, delivered to The Trentby email on Saturday, April 9, 2016 questions the authenticity of the DSS claims and outlines the legal issues surrounding the investigation of a homicide which the DSS failed to comply with.
Read the full statement below:
Nigeria: Two Classes-In-One Country: Exposing The Dark Sides Of DSS Allegation Of IPOB’s Abduction, Murder & Shallow Burial Of Five Hausa-Fulani Citizens In Abia State
(Onitsha Nigeria, 10th of April 2016)-In Criminology,“dark sides or figures of crimes” are totality of crimes reported to the police but not recorded in the crime statistics or records of the Police Force for primordial, nepotistic, incompetence and corruptive reasons. In the subject under discussion, captioned and underlined above, dark sidesinherent in the latest DSS public statement in which it accused the IPOB of masterminding the abduction, murder and shallow burial of five “Hausa-Fulani” citizens in Isiukwuato LGA of Abia State; are singling out of citizens of a particular section of the country and their alleged abduction, murder and shallow burial as deserving national securitization attention and urgent concerns; while trashing others in similar category or fate into thedark sides dustbin.
The literal meanings and summaries of the DSS latest public statement are: (1) there are indiscriminate State actor and non-State actor related killings going on in Abia State; (2) there are indiscriminate dumping of murdered citizens in burrow pits and shallow graves in Abia State; (3) there are indiscriminate shallow mass graves in Isikwuato LGA of Abia State where the Service discovered five lifeless bodies of the “Hausa-Fulani” citizens and other shallow graves containing over 50 yet-to-be identified others; (4) IPOB has resorted to reprisal killings and armed violent group; (5) alleged perpetrators of the said abduction, murder and shallow burial of “five Hausa-Fulani” citizens are still on the prowl; (6) Hausa-Fulani natives are the first class citizens in Nigeria deserving special government protection and concerns, while other natives particularly Igbos are second class citizens deserving no State protection, attention and concerns; (7) among others.
Further, the DSS publication has completely vindicated the recent position of ours (International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law) thatAbia State is riddled with indiscriminate killing of unarmed civilian citizens and dumping of their lifeless bodies in shallow graves or burrow pits. In February 2016, 16 bodies of murdered citizens suspected to be members of IPOB were discovered and pictured in two communities close to Aba in Abia State. Informed alarms were raised, leading to our detailed compendium of facts and text to the Federal Government; yet no response till date. We went further to bring the attention of the Government of Abia State via a letter; again, nothing was done, except setting the corpses ablaze to erase traces of culpability. Just recently, there was another report of discovery of eight more dead bodies dumped in fold pit in the border town of Etche in Rivers State. The Community is between Abia, Imo and Rivers State.