Group Accuses Security Agents of Arresting, Branding Igbo Youths as ESN/IPOB

By Ikeugonna Eleke

A human rights group, International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law (Intersociety), has accused security agents of labelling and arresting scores of innocent Igbo youths as members of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

The group stated this in a statement it released in Onitsha, Anambra State, on Monday, which was signed by its Board of Trustees Chairman, Mr Emeka Umeagbalasi, and made available to Fides in Awka.

Umeagbalasi said the indiscriminate arrests, torture and even extrajudicial killings, were not only limited to Monday’s sit-at-home protest, but had been on since the beginning of this year, just as it listed some names of victims of such arrests and detentions.

‘We have received over 100 phone calls and messages from members of the public testifying in favour of the abducted and slain citizens.

‘Intersociety hereby calls on the Nigeria Police Force and Nigerian Army to immediately and unconditionally release all such citizens and desist from perpetration and perpetuation of such dastardly acts, including frame-ups and trumped up allegations or charges, spilling of innocent blood as a mark of gallantry, abductions and disappearances, extrajudicial killings and other forms of genocidal operations going on in the East,’ Umeagbalasi stated.

The group titled the statement: ”Graphic Details of How Soldiers, Police, Others in the East Hatefully/Falsely Label & Abduct Innocent Citizens and Spill Their Blood for Gallantry”.

Intersociety said that such had led to no less than 170 open killings, secret abductions and permanent disappearances or feared unlawful executions in custody, of no fewer than 550 and general arrests/abductions of no less than 2, 100.

‘The arrested/abducted are presently held in different open and secret dungeons located within and outside the East and among those outside the East are Makurdi Prisons in Benue State where over 300 were recently found to have been transferred and kept.

‘Others are conventional and unconventional military, police and SSS detention facilities in Abuja, Niger State and other undisclosed locations in the North. They are also in Owerri, Awka, Port Harcourt and Abakiliki State CIDs and Prison or Correctional facilities such as Owerri Prisons, holding over 130, including 107 remanded days ago.

‘Shockingly, in the past one week or Monday 24th to Sunday 30th May, 2021, not less than 30 open and secret killings by soldiers and police have taken place with most taking place in Imo State where scores of corpses have been freshly traced to the mortuaries of the Government Medical Centers,’ the statement read.