The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, today claimed that five of their members were killed by the police in Imo State and their lifeless bodies taken to unknown destination.
Counsel to IPOB, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, while commenting on the Monday night incident also told Vanguard in Owerri that IPOB members were on their way home after a peaceful rally along Orji Road in Owerri when it happened.
However the police declined comment on the matter as several text messages Vanguard forwarded to the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Orlando Ikeokwu, at about 11:50am were not responded to. He later picked one of several calls but said he was in a meeting.
IPOB’s lawyer said the group would take legal action against the police in order to recover the bodies of their members as well as secure release of unarmed IPOB members who were arrested during the peaceful rally.
He said: “We have a confirmed report that some members of IPOB were killed by the police of the anti robbery squad in Imo State. Also many were arrested for reasons we cannot explain. We saw it as a serious case of police brutality and violation of the fundamental rights of innocent people.
“There is no reason they should be arrested or killed in the manner they were killed. We learnt they also took away their corpses. What it means is that after killing them, they made away with their corpses.
IPOB alerts international community
Sequel to the above development, the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has made an appeal to Israel and other world governments to prevail on Nigerian Government to stop killing its members and other Biafra agitators who visited Nigeria before Christmas and beyond from different countries.
Media and Publicity Secretary of IPOB, Comrade Emma Powerful in a release yesterday alleged that Biafrans abroad were humiliated and hunted down in their respective families and communities especially since Nnamdi Kanu, the IPOB leader snapped pictures with Israeli national coordinator and other members in Israel.
IPOB alerted the world governments of what it called the danger faced by Biafra agitators’ families in Nigeria since the appearance of IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu in the State of Israel on October 2018.
IPOB leadership said the appeal had become necessary following reports that some of its members seeking refuge in some foreign countries face threat because of their involvement in the struggle for Biafra freedom.
“The lives of our members here in Biafraland are in danger of summary execution by security operatives in Nigeria. We certainly discovered that two of our members who recently arrived from the State of Israel got killed by Nigerian Army and their bodies were dumped in a boro pit in Aba, Abia State. IPOB, therefore, must plead with governments of the world, especially the Israeli government and other western countries to give any support necessary to save the lives of IPOB members who eventually come to Nigeria.
“It is important we remind the whole world that those who were coming back from other parts of the world including Israel are facing serious persecutions here in Nigeria, particularly those who snapped pictures with IPOB leader. Just last week, two young men who came back from Israel were killed and dumped along the road and in bush in Aba, Abia state.”
IPOB said it had been informed that even its coordinator in Israel, Mr. Ibezim Obiorah Augustine’s family is also facing threat from security operatives.
The pro -Biafra group appealed to Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu to intervene and save the lives of Augustine and families including other members in Israel.
IPOB also claimed that two of its members were allegedly killed by soldiers at Asa Nnentu market Aba, during a campaign rally in Asannetu motor spare parts market where Okezie Ikpeazu the governor of Abia state collaborated with Nigerian Army shot many of our members in the market, an allegation which Dr Uche Ogah and his campaign organisation had denied
Nigerian Government had in 2017 proscribed IPOB as a terrorist organization. This was shortly before the invasion of the home of its Leader, Nnamdi kanu.
Ever since then, IPOB members have gone underground in Nigeria except ocassionaly as anyone arrested with IPOB insignia is treated as a terrorist by the Nigerian authorities.
But Powerful said IPOB has vowed to sustain its agitation for Biafra independence despite stiff resistance by the authorities, adding that no amount of intimidation or provocation will make it reconsider its non violent approach.