Full Details Of The Massacre And Wounding Of 14 Marriage Reception Returnees In Imo Community

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…massacre by Imo Government and its Ebubeagu Militia and their false labeling as “Unknown Gunmen”- a confirmation of killing mostly innocent and defenseless citizens in the State since Jan 2021

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Onitsha, Eastern Nigeria

Wednesday, 20th July 2022

Following further investigation into the circumstances surrounding the massacre and wounding of 14 Marriage Reception Returnees from Otulu Community in Oru West Local Government Area in Imo State, shot at close rangeand massacred or wounded at the ISHIEKE Junction in neighboring Awomama in Oru East Local Government Area of the State, the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety), Nigeria’s leading research and investigative human rights and democracy advocacy Organization, having earlier spoken based on preliminary findings at its disposal; hereby wishes to give full details into the animalistic and cruel barbarous act as follows:

 

1. That on Sunday, 17th July 2022, a newly married young man/chief celebrant, Citizen Chigozie Nnanna from Otulu Community of the above named Local Government Area in Imo State, Southeast Nigeria graciously invited his kinsmen, friends and well wishers to accompany him to a post wedlock/wine-carrying reception in the ancestral abode of his new wife in Okwuoji Village, Awomama Community in the State. Awomama Community shares boundary with Otulu before another Community called Mgbidi

 

2. That the marriage reception went well and was free of hitches after which the chief celebrant and his kinsmen, friends and well wishers made a convoy return, in batches, to their Otulu Community from 6.30pm-7pm upwards.

 

3. That their journey home convoy had included private vehicles and motorcycles with pairs of unarmed and defenseless youths of the Community riding back home in joy and happiness following success of the marriage reception.

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4. That on getting to Ishieke Junction in Awomama Community, sounds of live bullet gunshots started raining and rented the air leading to stampede, confusions andrunning helter skelter by the returnees with some scampering for safety and others felling by live bullets

 

5. That in the ensuing melee, scores were shot at close range and felled by bullets while others ran into the nearby bush and managed to escape.

 

6. That some of the lucky escapees rang their PG (President-General of Otulu Community, Chief Nnamdi Agbor) from their bush hideout and the PG swiftly responded with several calls across to top political figures including State and Federal Legislators representing the area and top security commanders.

 

7. That the mass shooting and tragic incident lasted up to 1am and above into next day being Monday, 18th July 2022 and in the morning of same day, the President General and others organized a search party which included an Army patrol team, a Divisional Police Officer and others

 

8. That after arriving at the scene, seven dead bodies were recovered and on further traces, five others had gonemissing, two terminally shot and injured and later hospitalized and three others arrested and taken to Ebubeagu Militia (Imo State Security Service) at their local headquarters located at Omuma (Gov Hope Uzodinma’s hometown/headquarters of the Oru West Local Government Area).

 

9. That names of the seven recovered dead victims/indigenes of Otulu Community in Oru West killed by Nigerian Army-allied/trained Ebubeagu Government Militia are Late Citizens Chigozie Obinwa, Chikere Anyadioha, Ifechi Ekesinachi and Emeka Ekesinachi (two  blood brothers), Aboy Ihegboro, Chijindu and Ozioma; with five persons still missing

 

10. That names of the terminally shot and injured but laterhospitalized victims are Citizens Thank-God Iheukwumere and Oluebube Agbor, while those arrested by the Imo State Government killer outfit are Citizens Uchenna Orjiribeka, Chidoo Ekesinachi and Nnamdi Ekesinachi

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11. That following the mass shooting and massacre, the Otulu Community and neighboring others got boiled leading toskeletal protests on Monday and full blown protests on Tuesday, 19th July 2022

 

12. That but for courageous and commendable efforts of the President-General of the victim Community (Otulu) and fearless and conscientious media reporters, the killings would have successfully been swept under the carpet and twisted by the Gov Hope Uzodinma led Government of Imo State and the conformist and lying Nigerian security chiefs posted to the State

 

13. That if truly the Imo Director of DSS fed the State Security Council with such perfidious lies as claimed by Gov Hope Uzodinma, DSS Director’s ethnic and religious identity and professional loyalty should thoroughly be investigated and he should be dismissed from the Service

 

14. That by relying solely on perfidious lies of the DSSDirector, if true, Gov Hope Uzodinma, though never credibly won his governorship, no thanks to the Supreme Court; has proven himself to be ‘a Gov in the Air’ in Imo State.

 

15. That the Governor’s decision to lie against the innocent and defenseless dead citizens is not only ‘repercussion/justice-in-waiting’ but also a statistical confirmation of how the Nigerian security operatives and Government of Imo State go about killing at least 45 defenseless and innocent citizens of the State and burning down at least 50 of their homes and properties on monthlybasis since January 2021.

 

16. That this has further explained why the sum-total of our catalogue of statistics since January 2021 on Imo State alone has indicated that “under Hope Uzodinma as Governor, Imo State had lost not less than 800 defenseless citizens and 900 burnt or destroyed properties”.

 

17. That our research statistics further indicated that 90% of those killed or maimed or abducted and disappeared without traces or held long months in security detentionwithout trial are victims of jungle justice including unsubstantiated allegations/accusations, false labeling, criminal stigmatization, ethnic profiling, labeling for death based on hearsay; leading to extrajudicial executions or killings and disappearances since Jan 2021.

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18. That the arrested or shot and killed victims of the above highlighted circumstances are hardly processed usingprocedural processes of ‘man-machine-mental’ investigations, prosecutions and sentencing.

 

19. That the Government of Imo State under Hope Uzodinma and its conformist security agencies and chiefs have destroyed innocent lives and properties over hundred times more than they claimed to be protecting them 

 

20. That the Imo State Government under Hope Uzodinma is atrociously unrepentant and remorseless and instead of strongly condemning the massacre and arresting or disbanding the killer Militias, the Imo Governor defiantly rose in their defense and threatened to kill or massacre more with impunity. 

 

21. That we at Intersociety hereby call for an Independent Commission of Enquiry and immediate disbandment of the killer Government/Army-allied/trained militias and arrest and prosecution of their operatives and heads.

Signed

For: International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law

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