Ohanaeze Condemns Killing of Pro-Biafra Protesters, Demands Panel of Inquiry

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  • 101 protesters arraigned, granted bail in Enugu, Ebonyi

Christopher Isiguzo, Patrick Egwu in Enugu and Benjamin Nworie in Abakaliki

The apex-Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, wednesday in Enugu condemned in strong terms last Monday’s killings of scores of pro-Biafra agitators under the aegis of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Onitsha, Anambra State by security agencies comprising a detachment of Nigerian Army, Navy, Police, Department of State Services (DSS) and National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

The organisation said it would not accept the defence put up by the Nigerian Army that they acted in self-defence and out of provocation.

Ohanaeze in a statement signed by it’s Secretary General, Dr, Joe Nwaorgu therefore asked the President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government to set up investigative panels to unravel the true picture of the sad development, which it described as “totally outrageous.”

Nworgu also urged Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State to equally constitute an investigative panel to get a full record of what occurred from the state government’s perspective.

The organisation said it remained traumatised by the outrageous massacre of the non-violent members of the two organisations in the early hours and afternoon of Monday, May 30, 2016.

Nwaorgu insisted that they were unimpressed and unconvinced by the “talk of provocation,” wondering what level of provocation would warrant the firing of tears gas, without first calling on a crowd legal or illegal to disperse.
While calling on all Nigerians to condemn in its entirety the heinous display of brutality, the group alleged that after the firing of tear gas, there was a “salvo of gunfire with live bullets.”

“We are traumatised by the outrageous killing of the members of the IPOB and MASSOB in could blood in the early hours of Monday, May 30, 2016 and then in the afternoon of same day.

“The two organiations are sworn believers in non-violence. They say, and we believe them that were totally unarmed at the times of the onslaughts. Consequently, Ohanaeze calls on the Anambra State Government to immediately set up an investigative panel to get the full record of what occurred.

“The federal government also should set up its own inquiry to give the world the true picture. This is necessary so that justice is seen to be done. We are unhappy with the continued blood letting visited on our people and want such nefarious events to cease forthwith.

He condoled with the families of the victims and prayed that the sad development would not happen again in Igboland.
Meanwhile, the Enugu State Police Command yesterday arraigned 13 pro-Biafra agitators arrested last Monday at the Edinburgh axis of the state while marking the 50 years of Biafra Republic before a Magistrate Court presided over by E.N. Alukwu.

The suspects believed to be members of the MASSOB and IPOB were however granted bail by the court.
Also in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, 88 members of MASSOB arraigned before a Magistrate Court on a four-count charge of conspiracy, belonging to unlawful society, membership of unlawful group and possession of items calling for the declaration of Biafra.

After the arguments, the trial Magistrate, Stella Ogoke, in her ruling, granted the accused persons bail to the tune of N500,000 and seven sureties who must be within the magisterial jurisdiction.
She said the sureties must be civil servants or businessmen and adjourned the matter to July, 18, 2016 for definite hearing.