Olumide Akpata, NBA President
Olumide Akpata, NBA President

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has set up an investigative panel on the alleged reprisal which led to the killing of suspected members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) by the military.

NBA President Olumide Akpata who announced the decision in a statement on his twitter handle, said the panel consists of four men comprising NBA 1st Vice President John Aikpokpo-Martins; two former NBA Port Harcourt branch Chairmen Victor Frank-Briggs and Anthonia Osademe; and a former NBA Ukwa branch Chairman Chimaroke Elie.

Akpata said the team would visit Oyigbo to inquire into the events and publish their findings.

Following the killing of six soldiers and four policemen, and the destruction of court buildings during the #EndSARS protests, the Rivers State government imposed a 24-hour curfew on Oyigbo Local Government Area on October 21.

Governor of Rivers State Nyesom Wike, blamed IPOB for the killings and gave the security agencies express order to fish out members of the group in the area.

However, IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu has continued to insist that the governor blamed his group without carrying out an investigation.

“It’s highly irresponsible and dangerous for Governor Wike to conclude – without any investigations – that it’s IPOB members that killed ‘security personnel’ at Obigbo,” the IPOB leader said via his twitter account.

Some accounts of the incident suggest it started as an ethnic clash between Oyigbo youths with some of IPOB members and the Hausa community in the area.

According to the account, the crisis started when some Hausa youths blocked EndSARS protesters, some of whom were IPOB members fearing that they were going to burn their mosque, which led to a clash and loss of lives prompting the deployment of security agencies.