•Says over 50 IPOB/MASSOB extra-judiciously killed
By Senator Iroegbu in Abuja
Amnesty International (AI) has called for full and urgent investigation into the alleged killing of unarmed pro-Biafra supporters during the celebration of the 49th year of Biafra in Onitsha, Anambra state, last month by the security forces.
AI said in a release on Friday that it conducted an on-the-ground investigation, which has confirmed that the Nigerian army gunned down unarmed people ahead of last month’s planned pro-Biafran commemorative events in Onitsha, Anambra state.
According to the human rights watchdog, evidence gathered from eyewitnesses, morgues and hospitals confirms that between 29-30 May 2016, the Nigerian military opened fire on members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) supporters and bystanders at three locations in the town.
The Country Director of AI Nigeria, Amb. Mohammed Ibrahim, condemned what he called excessive use of force to disperse peaceful protesters.
“Opening fire on peaceful IPOB supporters and bystanders who clearly posed no threat to anyone is an outrageous use of unnecessary and excessive force and resulted in multiple deaths and injuries. In one incident one person was shot dead after the authorities burst in on them while they slept.
“These shootings, some of which may amount to extra judicial executions, must be urgently and independently investigated and anyone suspected of criminal responsibility must be brought to justice,”Ibrahim said.
He said that the exact number of deaths is unknown, partly due to the fact that the Nigerian army took away corpses and the injured.
AI stated that it has received reports from various sources on the ground alleging that at least 40 people were killed and more than 50 injured.
The International Non-Governmental Organisation (INGO), said that the visits to hospitals and morgues, the organization has confirmed – based on this initial investigation – that at least 17 people were killed and nearly 50 injured, adding that “the real number is likely to be higher”.