Falana Asks FG to Investigate Alleged Killing of IPOB, Shiite Members

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  • Deplores NBA for failing to respond to alleged killing
  • Asks ministers to declare their assets like president, VP

Gboyega Akinsanmi in Lagos and David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka

A human rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana, wednesday asked the federal government to investigate murder of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) members and scores of the Shiites who were allegedly killed by the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Police.

Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), lamented the impassive posture of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and any of its 109 branches for failing to condemn crimes against humanity allegedly committed by the army and the police.

He made the demand in a statement by the Secretary to Falana & Falana Chambers, Tayo Soyemi yesterday, calling the President Muhammadu Buhari administration “to set up a panel of inquiry to investigate the killing of IPOB members as well as the scores of Shiites by security agents.”

He cited a report the Amnesty International released last week, which he said, revealed that officers of the Nigerian Army “brutally killed 150 members of the IPOB. Unsurprisingly, the army has denied the report.”

He buttressed the report of the Amnesty International with a statement the Nigerian Army issued on May 31 in which it said many of own troops sustained varying degrees of injury in the aftermath of the fire fight that ensued.

He added that the injured troops “are currently receiving treatment at own medical centre. Similarly, five members of IPOB were killed, eight wounded while nine were arrested for due legal actions.

The rights lawyer lamented that the armed soldiers, who have engaged in the killings, “have not been charged to any criminal court whatsoever, thereby demanding that the president should constitute a panel of inquiry that would investigate the killing of IPOB members and Shiites.

However, he pointed out that the NBA reacted “to the nocturnal raid of the homes of seven judges who were arrested for alleged corrupt practices last month by the Department Statey Services (DSS) operatives.”

He said he did not support the harassment of the judges, though did not hesitate in condemning the NBA for engaging in hypocrisy by limiting the defence of human rights “to the senior members of the legal profession.

He also observed that the ruling class “is highly corrupt, but the ruling classes in Western countries are more corrupt,” thus demanding that all ministers and public officials should declare their assets.

The rights activist argued that since President Buhari and the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, declared their assets, all ministers and public officers “should be made to follow suit.”

He noted that it was not sufficient for the president “to deny the allegation that he was receiving double salaries. He should proceed to issue an Executive Order to prohibit ministers and legislators from earning double salaries and allowances because it is illegal and immoral

Meanwhile, IPOB has called on their members to accept whatever the outcome of today’s Abuja Federal High Court judgment is on its leader’s freedom, saying the federal government has already given orders to Justice Binta Nyako on what judgment to give.

A statement sent to THISDAY and signed by the media and publicity secratry of IPOB, Emma Powerful, also banned any form of jubilation in the case that its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, is released.

Powerful said the members of the group will not also protest if the judgment turned against them as doing so will give military personnel already stationed in all parts of the south east to have reason to carry out their plan of killing its members.

Part of the release read:, “IPOB is not expecting anything good from Nigeria court because the president of Nigeria, General Buhari has ordered the judiciary not release i Nnamdi Kanu for any reason in the world.

“However, we are not expecting anything positive from the court tomorrow(today), after all Buhari have made it very clear that no court will grant Nnamdi Kanu and others bail and since then the order has been effective.”

IPOB said it was surprised that some justices who had in previous judgments granted bail to the freedom fighter have either been tagged corrupt or been posted out of Abuja, so that they will never preside on the matter, while those who gave conflicting judgment on the matter have rather been compensated.

It also stated that the newly launched ‘operation Python Dance in the South-east, which saw soldiers taking over the zone was part of the plot to silence Biafrans and ensure that its members were wiped out if they ventured to protest today’s judgment.