Rights group, the International Society for Civil liberties and the Rule of Law, Intersociety, on Monday said it has discovered where no fewer than seven secret graveyards where pro Biafra agitators killed by Nigeria’s security forces were buried.
The group which made the disclosure in a statement by its board chairman, Comrade Emeka Umeagbalasi; Head, Civil Liberties and Rule of Law Obianuju Igboeli and Head, Democracy and Good Governance, Chinwe Umeche, said the graves are located in three states of Delta, Anambra and Abia.
“The location of the seven secret graveyards in Igboland are: Asaba Airport location /swamp; Onitsha military cantonment cemetery; Nkpor-Umuoji road environs; Umuahia forest/ Afara-Ukwu palace; Aba National High School; Aba-Port Harcourt Road borrow pits and other designated gravesites where hospitals mortuaries dispose unclaimed or ‘state property’ corpses and Ogwe-Ukwa West forest graveyard discovered in the first week of August, 2018,” the group said.
“There are also more undiscovered criminal graveyards in Uyo (Akwa Ibom State) and Port Harcourt (Rivers State) where dozens of slain pro Biafra activists and other collateral victims were disposed.”
The group said efforts to get Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, 82 Division Nigerian Army, Enugu, proved abortive as calls to his two mobile phones between 4pm to 5.50 pm were switched off, “while some of the victims of such criminal graveyards also include those taken alive by security forces particularly soldiers of the Nigerian Army to such criminal graveyards and shot dead and dumped.
“Several findings by our organization have further shown that such victims are majorly drawn from those arrested alive and taken to the graveyards and killed on the spot or those captives forced to carry their slain colleagues to the graveyards after which they are tied or blindfolded and shot dead to erase traces of culpability.
“There are also more undiscovered criminal graveyards in Uyo (Akwa Ibom State) and Port Harcourt (Rivers State) where dozens of slain pro Biafra activists and other collateral victims were disposed.
The group also alleged that “the present regime atrocities and crimes against humanity were perpetrated using lopsided composed Nigerian army and the Nigerian Police Force as well as other members of the country’s security forces.
It said the crackdown were specifically carried out Iin the period of 30th August 2015, 2ndand 17th December 2015, 29th January and 9th February 2016 29th and 30th May 2016, 20thJanuary 2017 and 11th 12th 13th and 14th September 2017, respectively.
“The most atrocious and horrific part of the violent crackdown were the massacre of 29th and 30th may 2016 during which over 140 defensless citizens were slaughtered and the Army Operation Python Dance of 11 September 2017in abia state, particularly in Asa, Aba, Isiala-ngwa and Umuahia, resulting in the death of no fewer than 180 defenseless citizens of Igbo extraction,” the statement said.
“A total of not less than 150 defenseless citizens were shot and terminally injured in Anambra and Delta States on 29th and 30th May 2016 while no fewer than 140 others got same terminal fate in Abia State in September 2017.
“The perpetrators are still on the prowl with chronic impunity till date. As if the earlier mentioned regime atrocities were not enough, the same central Government has defiantly concluded plans to embark on another massacre operation in Igbo Land, code-named “Army Python Dance 111”.
“The referenced regime atrocities constitute “crimes against humanity” and fundamental breach of international human rights and humanitarian laws.”
According to the group, “Efforts to get Deputy Director Army Public Relations, 82 Division Nigerian Army, Enugu, Col. Sagir Musa proved abortive as calls to his two mobile phones between 4pm to 5.50 pm were indicating unreachable and switched off respectively. Also text messages sent to the two mobile phones of Col. Sagir, were equally not responded to.
“In a similar vein, the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Anambra State Police Command, Mr Mohammed Haruna, could not be reached as his phone was also switched off.”