By Anayo Okolie
A pan-Igbo group, Njiko Igbo, at the weekend called for judicial inquiry into the mysterious death of scores of people whose bodies were dumped in Ezu River in Anambra State.
The group, in a statement issued by its Director of Operations, Senator Emmanuel Onwe, condemning the killing of the people who were believed to be members of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), advocated that the panel of inquiry should be headed by a justice of the Supreme Court.
It urged both the Federal Government as well as the Enugu and Anambra State governments to investigate the allegations by MASSOB leaders that the bodies were those of the members of the organisation who were extra-judicially killed by security agencies.
The statement said: “Three weeks ago, citizens of Anambra and Enugu States were justifiably petrified when unidentified corpses, estimated to be 40 or more in number, were discovered dumped in Ezu River. The cause of those deaths remained indeterminate. However, the leadership of MASSOB was reported to have alleged that the victims of these apparent extra-judicial executions were its members.
“If MASSOB’s claim were to be established as factual and correct, it will set off consequences of seismic proportions in Igboland. Indeed, right at this moment, the atmosphere is growing tense and charged. And it is for this reason that Njiko Igbo is compelled to sue for calm as first reaction. Then an immediate public judicial enquiry, led by a justice of the Supreme Court of proven integrity, must be instituted by the Federal Government with a wide-ranging remit to conduct a thorough investigation that will lead to the establishment of the identities of the victims, the cause or causes of their deaths, the perpetrators of the crime, the entity in whose custody they were held, the extent of the health hazards created for the people of Enugu and Anambra State whose source of water was so recklessly and negligently contaminated and adequate compensation recommended for the community that fell victim to this heinous crime in addition to the imposition of criminal liability on the perpetrators.”
The group added that all those found guilty or culpable at the end of probe must be made to face the law.