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How Nigerian military massacred 150 peaceful pro-Biafra activists – Amnesty International

The Nigerian security forces, led by the military, embarked on a chilling campaign of extrajudicial executions and violence resulting in the deaths of at least 150 peaceful pro-Biafra protesters in the south east of the country, according to an investigation by Amnesty International published today.

Analysis of 87 videos, 122 photographs and 146 eye witness testimonies relating to demonstrations and other gatherings between August 2015 and August 2016 consistently shows that the military fired live ammunition with little or no warning to disperse crowds. It also finds evidence of mass extrajudicial executions by security forces, including at least 60 people shot dead in the space of two days in connection with events to mark Biafra Remembrance Day.

 

“This deadly repression of pro-Biafra activists is further stoking tensions in the south east of Nigeria. This reckless and trigger-happy approach to crowd control has caused at least 150 deaths and we fear the actual total might be far higher,” said Makmid Kamara, Interim Director of Amnesty International Nigeria.

 

“The Nigerian government’s decision to send in the military to respond to pro-Biafra events seems to be in large part to blame for this excessive bloodshed. The authorities must immediately launch an impartial investigation and bring the perpetrators to book.”

 

This reckless and trigger-happy approach to crowd control has caused at least 150 deaths and we fear the actual total might be far higher

                                     Makmid Kamara, Amnesty International Nigeria’s Interim Director

 

 

 

Since August 2015, there has been a series of protests, marches and gatherings by members and supporters of IPOB (Indigenous People of Biafra) who have been seeking the creation of a Biafran state. Tensions increased further following the arrest of IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu on 14 October 2015. He remains in detention.

 

Extrajudicial executions

 

By far the largest number of pro-Biafra activists were killed on Biafra Remembrance Day on 30 May 2016 when an estimated 1,000 IPOB members and supporters gathered for a rally in Onitsha, Anambra State. The night before the rally, the security forces raided homes and a church where IPOB members were sleeping.

 

On Remembrance Day itself, the security forces shot people in several locations. Amnesty International has not been able to verify the exact number of extrajudicial executions, but estimates that at least 60 people were killed and 70 injured in these two days. The real number is likely to be higher.

 

Ngozi (not her real name), a 28-year-old mother of one, told Amnesty International that her husband left in the morning to go to work but called her shortly afterwards to say that the military had shot him in his abdomen. He said he was in a military vehicle with six others, four of whom were already dead. She told Amnesty International: “he started whispering and said they just stopped [the vehicle]. He was scared they would kill the remaining three of them that were alive… He paused and told me they were coming closer. I heard gunshots and I did not hear a word from him after  that.

                   “Ngozi”, a 28-year-old mother of one whose husband was killed   

The next day Ngozi searched for her husband and finally found his body in a nearby mortuary. The mortuary attendants told her that the military had brought him and six others. She saw three gunshot wounds: one in his abdomen and two in his chest, which confirmed her fear that the military had executed him.

 

Since August 2015, there has been a series of protests, marches and gatherings by members and supporters of IPOB (Indigenous People of Biafra) who have been seeking the creation of a Biafran state. Tensions increased further following the arrest of IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu on 14 October 2015. He remains in detention.

 

Amnesty International has also reviewed videos of a peaceful gathering of IPOB members and supporters at Aba National High School on 9 February 2016. The Nigerian military surrounded the group and then fired live ammunition at them without any prior warning.

 

According to eyewitnesses and local human rights activists, many of the protesters at Aba were rounded up and taken away by the military. On 13 February 13 corpses, including those of men known to have been taken by the military, were discovered in a pit near the Aba highway.  

 

It is chilling to see how these soldiers gunned down peaceful IPOB members. The video evidence shows that this was a military operation with intent to kill and injure, said Makmid Kamara.

 

Deadly repression

 

Eyewitness testimony and video footage of the rallies, marches and meetings demonstrate that the Nigerian military deliberately used deadly force.

 

In many of the incidents detailed in the report, including the Aba High School protest, the military applied tactics designed to kill and neutralize an enemy, rather than to ensure public order at a peaceful event.

 

All IPOB gatherings documented by Amnesty International were largely peaceful. In those cases where there were pockets of violence, it was mostly in reaction to shooting by the security forces. Eyewitnesses told Amnesty International that some protesters threw stones, burned tyres and in one incident shot at the police. Regardless, these acts of violence and disorder did not justify the level of force used against the whole assembly.

 

Amnesty International’s research also shows a disturbing pattern of hundreds of arbitrary arrests and ill-treatment by soldiers during and after IPOB events, including arrests of wounded victims in hospital, and torture and other ill-treatment of detainees.

 

Vincent Ogbodo (not his real name), a 26-year-old trader, said he was shot on Remembrance Day in Nkpor and hid in a gutter. When soldiers found him they poured acid on him. He told Amnesty International:

 

“I covered my face. I would have been blind by now. He poured acid on my hands. My hands and body started burning. The flesh was burning… They dragged me out of the gutter. They said I’ll die slowly.”

 

I covered my face. I would have been blind by now. He poured acid on my hands. My hands and body started burning. The flesh was burning… They dragged me out of the gutter. They said I’ll die slowly

                     A 28-year-old man who had acid sprayed on him by a soldier

 

A man who was detained in Onitsha Barracks after the Remembrance Day shooting on 30 May 2016 told Amnesty International: “Those in the guard room [detention] were flogged every morning. The soldiers tagged it ‘Morning Tea’.”

 

No action by authorities to ensure accountability

 

Despite this overwhelming evidence that the Nigerian security forces committed gross human rights violations including extrajudicial executions and torture, no investigations have been carried out by the authorities.

 

A similar pattern of lack of accountability for gross violations by the military has been documented in other parts of Nigeria including the north east in the context of operations against Boko Haram.

 

“Amnesty International has repeatedly called on the government of Nigeria to initiate independent investigations into evidence of crimes under international law, and President Buhari has repeatedly promised that Amnesty International’s reports would be looked into. However, no concrete steps have been taken,” said Makmid Kamara.

 

In the very rare cases where an investigation is carried out, there is no follow up. As a result of the apparent lack of political will to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of such crimes, the military continues to commit human rights violations and grave crimes with impunity.

 

In addition to investigations, the Nigerian government must ensure adequate reparations for the victims, including the families. They should end all use of military in policing demonstrations and ensure the police are adequately instructed, trained and equipped to deal with crowd-control situations in line with international law and standards. In particular, firearms must never be used as a tool for crowd control.

 

About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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145 comments

  1. The government of Buhari will never do anything about this because he is a man of blood. There can only justice after Buhari’ tenure

  2. We are now in two Nigeria !!!!

  3. Amnesty International and Human Rights Organization are Opposition Parties in Nigeria.
    They are Agents of the Imperialists to support those causing crisis to pave way to their Countries as Armed Dealers.

  4. They’re real liars, how could dey killed peaceful protesters while protesters carry guns and stoles someone goods.

  5. Some day, just some day our dreams would come true. #freedom-for-Bifrans

  6. In every rumour there is element of truth

  7. God will fight this war for Biafra. Nigerian just seat back and watch

  8. Mr Victor you have started.

  9. They need iron hand u just start

  10. condemn Biafra nothing like Biafra only Nigeria

  11. God will pay them through boko haram if truely they are killing innocents people by sheding their blood

  12. God is punishing them through boko haram.

  13. Nizooria is a zoological republic, inhabited by wild monkeys and baboons!

  14. Any person that watch the video of killings of biafrans in aba and onitsha,and keep saying one nigeria should relocate to the north

  15. Victor iduwo i would’nt want to jion issue with u.u iyoruba enjoy eatin d crumb frm ur hausa filani master table.

  16. IF ELECTION is to be conducted now or anytime, everyday BABA PMB will WIN without pdpigs biafraud states that voted for badluck jonathan in 2015 and same will be in 2019. PMB till 2023 or infinity. Ikechukwu Chukwuka,Wimpam Kosovo,Kelvin Iyasere, Ejike Eze,, Fidel Nwosisi, Casca Ekpenyong, Godwin Igbinoba, Quest Abroad Ventures, Chukwudi Ebenezer, Henry Akuchie, Ngozi Okorie Sam,Francis Ekpo, Sunday Ogar, Nwa Ijara, Ike Sunday, Ayalogu Pastor Azubuike Eric, Clement Bassey, Emuche Nnaji, Jhonson Blerr, Albert Abia, Prince Chike, Francis Ekpo, Nnaji Ikechukwu, Prince Chike, Prince Skater, Makuochukwu Ezewudo, Don Bright, Chigozie Damian and co the baby factory products and pdpigs biafraud criminals of pipelines destruction party Igbos tribes that have the highest number of prostitutes and criminals executed killed or jailed in both Nigeria and abroad. PMB till 2023 or Infinity. One day worst of PMB if any in which there is none is 100% best to the world, Africa and Nigeria than 16yrs wastage regime of pdpigs biafraud criminals of pipelines destruction party that loot our treasury in the following format: gejgate, patiencejonathangate, dazienigate, dasukigate, ngoziokonjiwelagate, pdpigsbiafraudcriminalsgate, bokoharamcriminalgate, nigerdeltaavengergate, fayoseekitigate, FFKcriminalgate etc. Clueless and grand commander of nigerdelta avenger criminals badluck azikiwe ebele jonathan is the worst president Nigeria has ever have since independence. PMB till 2023 or Infinity then YORUBAS Osibanjo matured minded tested and trusted people will rule for 8yrs then rotate again to the North. pdpigs biafraud criminals of pipelines destruction party will NEVER rule Nigeria again even in a dream, NEVER!!!.

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  19. God will revenge for us, but already BH is paying them good price. if buratai is strong enough, he wouldn’t have been losing his best soldiers in borno. it’s only the armless innocent he’s killing in SS/SE. very soon all of them will be ducked in Hague for crime against humanity. the numbers are above 2000 plus missing once, all buried in mass grave at onitsha barrack . amnesty will visit their soon.

  20. What of d five police men d criminal IPOB Killed? Idiotic.

  21. Believe wat u wnt to hear dat is ur headach

  22. You cant eat your cake and have it back. Where are those human right when Nigeria was rated worse most corrupt nation. Where are you when Bokoharam came into Nigeria and start killing innocent citizen.

    • Go and ask buhari and stop asking amnesty huhari and atiku prepare bokoram to remove jonathan now jonathan has left and bokoharam turned against buhari due to low setlement so huhari you and your hausa fullani brothers must suffer it alone

    • Hon alaba must remember Boko haram started with killing of Christian and u Muslims were in support of them not until it comes back for you and u resort to blame. Gej declared state of emergency in 3 northern states but you senators fought it until he removed it. He sent army there and u said he wanted to avenge biafra war. Gej. Pleaded with Un to declare BH terrorist org again apc through hillary Clinton frustrated him. He again wanted to by arms from USA and Israel. Again apc and Clinton fought against it which made nig to buy from black market( cash and carry) when he wants to dialogue for the release of said chibok girls, the present pmb as there negotiator. Pls Bruu tell pmb and apc to unveil their boys.

    • Musa will always behave like musa. Just the way his name sounds………….MUMU!
      Hon. With a mask covering his face. A painted devil whom has been subjected to die in/with sentiment.

      The fight against BOKOHARAM is a fight against the northerns. Who said it Mr. Hon?

    • Its a shame the hausa people reasons

    • I DONT KNOW IF U ARE HONOURABLE LISTEN CAREFULLY WIT UR EARS AND UR MIND D NORTHERN OLIGARCHY HAVE SO ENRICH DEM SELF WIT D CRUDE OIL MONEY IN NIGERIA DAT IS NOT ONE NIGERIA DEY PLUNDERED D NATION ECONOMIC DEY DONT HAVE NIGERIA IN HEART ALL WAT DEY ARE AFTER IS D CRUDE OIL NOTHING ELSE IF ALL D CRUDE OIL MONEY DEY STOLE AND DEY USED IT TO DEVELOPED D NORTH GBOKO HARAM DEY CREATED FOR A SELFISH REASON FOR POWER TO GO BACK TO D NORTH NEGLECT BY U GUYS IN GOVERNANCE IN D NORTH IS UR PAY BACK GREEDINESS SHOULD BE DISLODGED BY U NORTHERNERS IN D CORRIDORS OF POWER IN GOVERNMENT EVERY DAY D BUCKET GOES TO D WELL ONE DAY D BUCKET WILL FALL INTO D WELL IT WILL BE A PAIN TO WRESTLE IT OUT WATCH OUT GREEDINESS IS WAT DAT MAKES ONE TO BE ACTING FOOLISHLY WIT OUT DIRECTION CHANGE TO GOOD HABIT AND HABIT WILL CHANGE ALL U GUYS IN POLITICS TO A GOOD CONDUCT NIGERIA SHOULD REVERT BACK TO A TRUE FEDERALISM STRUCTURE AS D BRITISH GAVE TO US IN OUR INDEPENDENT DAY D NORTH DIVERTED FROM D TRUE FEDERALISM STRUCTURE DAT IS WAT GAVE BIRTH TO CRIMINALITIES IN GOVERNANCES IN NIGERIA

    • Please what is honourable about.Please remove that title from your name.

    • Why is that lunatic not responding again…..I have said it b4 n ll keep saying it this fools needs attention as everyone is commenting on his stupid post he is happy,is high time we stop giving them attention this is no longer a fight against flesh n blood but against principalities n powers

    • The civil wasnt fought at d time u were born. You have not witness any civil war. All coment from you are insensitive. I was one of those who struggle within my reach for GEJ as a xtian to emerge. We built PDP. I dont believe in tribal or religious sentiment. I recon with any leader who believe in anti corruption crusade. Go back and any of my coment against Bokoharam. I dont see Bokoharam as a muslim. Bokoharam are those humanbeing that God has caused in many ways. The two religion preach peace but yours is attacking as if you have special interest to fight PMB. Enough is enough for d looting. The country must move forward.

    • Boko Haram is the problem you northeast created by yourself for your selfish political interest to wicked Jonathan by making his government ungovernable nor it backfire to your people. Did any igbo man join your Boko Haram rather your people killing your people then in the issue of biafra agitators they have fundamental human right for peaceful pretest which is not the reason the military should start killing them by buhari order. Biafra will have their freedom soon just mark my word down in your diary then you northerners will know the value of biafra people in Nigeria. One Nigeria is not by force because Nigeria is a forced marriage of 1914 amalgamation by regard and Britain because of the oil in the east. You are a bad leader for supporting the killing of unarmed innocent biafra people. All of you there are more than corrupt according to obasanjo but time will tell.

    • Evang who do not serve God but believe in criminal act. Am not from Northeast. I stand to say d truth. It is written in your holy book. Thou shall not steeal. Thou shall not cheat. What interest have you in JEG more than South South who produce him? All the problem that occur during GEJ regime are caused by this set of Nyomiri. Oya now. Produce a president of your Biafra.

  23. The thunder that will strike the,people that post this,rubbish eh, still dey,warm for,bench

  24. Let’s be weary of this international propagandists who hate us more than we hate ourselves

  25. IS ACT OF CORRUPTION ORDER AND GREEDINESS OF UNFAIR KILLING BY D GOVERNMENT CRUDE OIL MONEY IS D CONTENTION OF GOVERNMENT

  26. please help ask amnesty international, are they human right or civilian right? if civilian killed people in uniform or khaki they will not talk, and if people in uniform or khaki killed civilian they will say extra judicial ,those people in uniform are they not born by women or they don’t have relative?

  27. The more you curse people telling you the truth to amend your ways of treachery and gangsterism,the deeper you sink into bottomless pits.
    Majority of you are children of dubious parentage fed with proceeds of drug,419,Yahoo Yahoo,kidnapping,child trafficking and Certificate manipulation .

  28. Can we see the body of those people killed?

  29. Justice and equity. Nigeria is a fraud

  30. One Nigeria is not by force.The fear of the Notherners over Republic of Biafra is an indication that Nigeria will extinct without Biafrans.The atrocities commited against the peace loving,Godly& good people of Biafra will soon be reveal:

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  32. Soldiers have not kill you guys yet they will kill more than that. Stupid name called biafra.

  33. Buhari is a dog… Since d inception of his govt,d number of ppl he kill re more dan those of civil war.

  34. 150 is too small. More effort from the army pls. Give them more. Idiots

  35. One thing that is certin is this whoever that kills an inocent persons shuld get ready to die too becos wat u do wil cum bak,get u too.

  36. Even up till today the north &western Nigerian wicked indigens still sees the lgbos as his problame instead of raw blessings to them. Igbos entered their villages and some very remote arears and gradually developed them to todays maga citys.Then wt deep greed, envy, and grudge. From their leaders together both of them convananted them selfs wt blood. to kill, destroy and loot every thing that belong to lgbos and they started it very well and become very rich by killing lootings rapeing and destroying that is why who says that lgbos are killd or are being killd

  37. Is there wost enemy wether from withing Nigeria or outside Nigeria. Just as they are highly & deeply from there hearts opposed to the armnesitys intnational inditiments against the Nigerian troops. But as foolish as they are they don’t no that no condition is permanent under the sun.

  38. Is it by force……. No to 1Nigeria….. I support Biafra

  39. Mapur Emmanuel u dey there abi u witness d time solders dey kil them u are a respectiful man of God sir face your shephered and pray for all our leaders sir l

  40. Biafra is a moon and star in darkness which the blinds are seeing,a light to them.

  41. it is with sweat of agony,the tears of blood,and bitterness of joy that we had died beyound resurrection,but yet alive that is the spirit of freedom.Biafra!Biafra!!Biafra!!! our home.

  42. Victor idowu i didnt hear u….repeat dis ur comment

  43. Boko Haram is the problem you northeast created by yourself for your selfish political interest to wicked Jonathan by making his government ungovernable nor it backfire to your people. Did any igbo man join your Boko Haram rather your people killing your people then in the issue of biafra agitators they have fundamental human right for peaceful pretest which is not the reason the military should start killing them by buhari order. Biafra will have their freedom soon just mark my word down in your diary then you northerners will know the value of biafra people in Nigeria. One Nigeria is not by force because Nigeria is a forced marriage of 1914 amalgamation by regard and Britain because of the oil in the east. Akaba Musa You are a bad leader for supporting the killing of unarmed innocent biafra people. All of you there are more than corrupt according to obasanjo but time will tell.

  44. Ha ha ha ha Evangelist don turn to historian am sure dey never born u during d civil war,1966 1967 not to even talk of 1914 as a true Evangelist just continue to pray for Nigeria not for u to singing war war pls

  45. Hw many former chief of army staff general ihejirka mascred in Bama were amnesty international

  46. @Idowu: thank you Idowu for conscise & direct description of the so-called Amnesty International. They are nothing but imperialist paid agents planted in developing countries to undermine legitimate authority. Where is Amnesty International when the so-called Biafra were committing crime against the state?

  47. U fucking little kid talk of war just b taking ur tea if see sign of war u will never open that ur dirty mouth if u just hear sound of blast of tyre u just excrate in ur pant old boy pray for peace

  48. Harrison Peter u are a small never u open ur mouth to insult any leader or those dat older u learn how respect older man or older woman

  49. Nigerian military likes Soft Targets. Cowards!

  50. Their moster buharic will die and be burial in enter world prison. Soon

  51. Please o, how many state make up this our biafra?

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