Oyigbo Killings: You Have Done Well, Intersociety Commends Premium Times

A civil society group, the Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law (Intersociety) has commended Premium Times newspaper for its 23rd November 2020 special report on Obigbo Army Massacre in Rivers State.

In a statement signed by Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chair and Obianuju Igboeli, Esq., Head of Civil Liberties & Rule of Law, on Tuesday, the group said the report was also a corroborative vindication of Intersociety over its earlier report on the issue. “Our Organization, had in its updated statement of 19th Nov 2020, disclosed factually that over 60 defenseless citizens mostly belonging to Igbo Ethnic Nationality were shot and killed by soldiers of the heavily Muslim dominated Nigerian Army and that between 90 and 100 others  were shot and deadly injured. While scores have been permanently disappeared, between 200 and 300 others are still being held captive in secret or undisclosed military facilities within and outside Rivers State. Intersociety investigation into the massacre is continuing,” the group said.

It added,  “The Premium Times special investigative report comes a day after Intersociety released another factual statement on Lekki Army Massacre and Nigerian Government’s denials, challenging activist Nigerians including rights and media activists, criminologists and lawyers ‘to consistently slap serial liars in the country’s corridors of power with forensic statistics’ so as to shut them up permanently and decimate their litany of lies regarding their atrocious roles in grisly or ‘industrial scale’ rights abuses and violations’ in Nigeria or any part thereof. It must be pointed out that the unique thing about the Premium Times field investigation on Obigbo Massacre is that it was done strictly independent of Intersociety’s report, yet in the end, the two looked graphically or factually alike. That is to say that ‘facts or statistics do not lie’.

“However, our main point of departure from the Premium Times’ angle or position is the seeming portrayal of ‘IPOB’ as ‘criminal separatist group’. It must be reminded that Right to Self Determination using nonviolence is a guaranteed local, regional and international human right, enshrined in the country’s Treaty Laws acceded to by the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It must also be maintained that nothing on earth, rested on moral conscience, convention and humane law can justify the declaration by the present Government of Nigeria of the duo of ‘IPOB’ (Indigenous People of Biafra) and ‘IMN’ (Islamic Movement in Nigeria) as ‘terrorist organizations’.

“As activists grounded in law, criminology, security studies and modern military science, all the characteristics and circumstances qualifying an armed opposition group to be so designated are totally absent. At least, as at the time the two socio-cultural bodies were vindictively proscribed and till date, there are no sufficient pieces of factual evidence showing they have taken up arms against the People and Federal Republic of Nigeria or any part thereof. The Nigerian Constitution in Section 36 (8 &12) also prohibits retroactive criminal legislations, trials and punishments.

“The Obigbo Army Massacre, professionally speaking, does not require ‘war-grade’ Army operation to fish out criminals who, during the country-wide EndSARS protests, killed the ‘unknown’ soldiers and identified police officers and torched a number of publicly owned security facilities at Obigbo. Combination of intelligence, detection and technology would have been used and these would have been perfectly, quietly and innocuously executed using combined hands of Military Intelligence and Military Police as well as Police CIB/CID and SSS.

“Finally, we invite Nigerians and members of the Int’l Community to read, analyze the two accounts or reports complied by Intersociety and Premium Times. Intersociety: http://intersociety-ng.org/component/k2/item/579-nigeriaPremium Times: https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/427469-investigation-inside-the-horrific-bloodshed-and-massive-extrajudicial-killings-in-nigerias-oyigbo-community.html

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