…29 world leaders and seven top UK officials petitioned to intervene to stop killings in Imo and killing of Christians in Nigeria
Enugu, Eastern Nigeria
Intersociety’s Special Statement
Wednesday, 21st June 202
Names Of 32 Ex/Serving Public Office Holders Dragged To ICC Over Imo Mass Atrocities
1.Gov Hope Uzodinma, Gov of Imo State, Commandant General of the Imo Ebubeagu Militia (Vigilante) Group and Chief Security Officer of the State since 20th Jan 2020. He was also found by Intersociety’s Special Research and Investigative Report of 21st May 2023 to have aided and abetted the mass atrocities including mass murders, abductions, disappearances, acts of torture and burning down or wanton destruction of civilian houses and other properties and failed woefully to act to stop them. 2. Ex/serving Imo State Commissioners of Justice/Attorneys General since January 2021. 3. Ex/serving Imo State Commissioners of Information and Homeland Security/Special Adviser(s) to the Imo Gov on Security since January 2021. 4. Commander(s) of the Imo Ebubeagu Militia (Vigilante) Group since Jan 2021, 5. The former Inspector General of Police (Alkali Baba), 6. The former Chief of Defense Staff (Lucky Irabor). 7. The former Chief of Army Staff (Faruk Yahaya). 8. The Chief of Army Staff (Toareed Abiodun Lagbaja) who also served as GOC of the 82 Division, Enugu in 2021/2022. 9. The former Army Chief of Intelligence (Samuel Adebayo-a Major Gen)-Feb 2021-June 2023. 10. Brigadier Gen Raymond Utsaha (as he then was), Brigade Commander of the 34 Brigade, Obinze near Owerri (2021/2022). 11. Brig Gen M. Ibrahim (as he then was), Brigade Commander of the 14 Brigade, Ohafia, Abia State (2021/2022). 12. Col Abdulsalam Abubakar Sambo (as he then was), Cantonment Commandant, 302 Artillery Regiment, Onitsha (2021/2022). 13. Navy Commodore SH Abdullahi (as he then was), Commander of the Nigerian Navy School of Finance and Logistics, Owerrenta, Abia State (2021/2022). 14. The Commanding Officers of the 211 Regiment of the Nigerian Air Force, Owerri (from Jan 2021-date), 15. DIG Tijani Baba (as he then was), DIG in charge of the Force Bureau of Intelligence (FIB)/Intelligence Response Teams (IRT)-2021/2022. 16. CP Abutu Yaro (as he then was), Commissioner of Police, Imo State Police Command (2021/2022). 17. AIG Habu Sani Ahmadu (as he then was), Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) in charge of FIB, Abuja (2021/2022). 18. CP Sadiq Abubakar (as he then was), CP in-charge of IRT (2021/2022). 19. DCP Adepoju Ilori (as he then was), DCP in charge of IRT (2021/2022). 20. CP Kolo Yusuf (as he then was), CP in charge of Special Tactical Squad (STS), NPF, Abuja (2021/2022). 21. DCP Abba Kyari (as he then was), DCP in charge of IRT (Police Rapid Response Teams), Abuja (2021/2022). 22. DCP Tunde Disu (as he then was), DCP/Commander in charge of IRT, Abuja (2021/2022). 23. AIG Abutu Yaro (former AIG, Zone 13, Ukpor and repeat-perpetrator since 2022). 24. DIG Sadiq Bello, DIG in charge of FIB, Abuja (since 2022). 25. AIG Mamman Sandra, AIG-Zone 9, Umuahia (since 2023). 26. AIG Shuaya’u Lafia Abdulyari, AIG in charge of FCIB, Abuja (since 2023). 27. CP Mohammed Ahmed Barde, Commissioner of Police, Imo State (since Jan 2023). 28. Major Gen Umar Musa, former GOC 82 Division, Enugu (in 2022). 29. Major Gen Aminu Chinade, GOC, 82 Division, Enugu (2022-date). 30. Brig Gen Sani Suleiman, 34 Brigade Commander, Obinze (since March 2022). 31. Brig Gen Adegoke Adetuyi, 14 Brigade Commander, Ohafia (since March 2022). 32. Col M.B. Abubakar, Commander, 302 Artillery Regiment and General Supports, Onitsha (since 2022).
Criminal Complaint Before ICC
According to a 13-page document and attached others filed before the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague, The Netherlands against Gov Hope Uzodinma and 31 others, ‘crimes against humanity’ are strongly being suspected to have taken place and are still taking place in Nigeria’s Imo State, covering January 2021 to May 2023 and above. The Criminal Complaint was filed on Monday, 19th June 2023 and addressed to Prosecutor of the ICC, Mr. Karim A.A. Khan QC and it was filed for the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) and the Families of the victims mentioned and attached, marked as “Jane Doe 1-8” by the OKEKE ATTORNEYS from South Africa, headed by Nigeria’s Barr Austin Okeke, a respected international human rights lawyer. The filed Criminal Complaint was titled: “Notice Of Intention To File A (Criminal) Complaint And Request For The Initiation Of An Investigation Into Crimes Against Humanity In Imo State, Nigeria Pursuant To Articles 13(c), 15 and 53 Of The Rome Statute On The Basis Of Information On The Crimes Within The Jurisdiction Of The International Criminal Court “ICC”. The filed document further disclosed in its “Particulars Of Crimes that “there have been several extrajudicial killings, torture, physical assaults, abductions and other gross abuses of human rights in Imo State, Nigeria which include but are not limited to: incidences of murder, abduction, extortion, state-sponsored terrorism, persecution against a group or collectivity based on its political, racial, national ethnic or religious character, class criminalization and reprisal targeted against unarmed civilians (in addition to incessancy of civilian house burnings or wanton destruction of civilian homes and other properties)”.
The submitted document also averred that the state actors in Imo State including Gov Hope Uzodinma aided and abetted and are still aiding and abetting the Imo mass murders and other conduct atrocities as well as grossly conspiring in their perpetration and perpetuation. It was further submitted in the document that sufficient “prima facie pieces of evidence have been found warranting invitation for investigation by the ICC over violations of the international human rights and criminal laws and norms under UN and AU Systems including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the Conventions against Torture and Involuntary Disappearances”, etc; ratified by Nigeria and that in the instant case, “the Nigerian organs of state and coercive and prosecutorial systems are sufficiently found to have become the instruments of such violations and as such the vehicles used to arbitrarily arrest and detain; torture, abduct, disappear, falsely criminalize, mass-murder and wantonly destroy or burn down civilian houses and other properties”. The filed document demanded for an end to mass killings and property violence in Imo State and investigation, arrest and prosecution of the state actors and non state actors involved including the aiders and abettors. The filed Criminal Complaint was duly received and acknowledged by the Office of the ICC Prosecutor and referenced: “INTER-SOCIETY AND OTHERS VS HOPE UZODINMA OF IMO STATE, NIGERIA AND OTHERS”.
Recap Of The Special Research And Investigative Report On Imo
Intersociety had in the referenced ‘Special Research and Investigative Report on Imo found that In 29 Months (Jan 2021-May 2023) Under Gov Hope Uzodinma In Nigeria’s Imo State: Security Forces And Allied Militias Killed 900 Unarmed Citizens, Wounded 700, Arbitrarily Arrested And Detained 3500, Extorted 1,400, Disappeared 300, Burned Down 1,200 Civilian Houses, Displaced Their 30,000 Owners And Forced 500,000 Citizens In Active Age-Brackets To Flee To Escape Being Shot And Killed Or Abducted And Disappeared In Security Custody. As Armed Non-State Actors: Fulani Jihadists, Counterfeit Agitators, Death Squads, Street Violent Criminal Entities, Etc, Killed 700 (400 In Captivity And 300 In Open Shootings) And Abducted 900. The Report was concluded and unveiled on 21st May 2023 at international media conference in Enugu in Eastern Nigeria and was widely published by most of the leading media in Nigeria including the Vanguard, Punch, Sun, This Day, the Nation, the Leadership, the Daily Telegraph, the Daily Independent, Guardian, Daily Post, African Examiner, Daily Asset and News Express, News-Band, the Nigeria-Lawyer, the Trent, West African Pilot, the Nigerian Voice and the African Independent Television (AIT) and some international news media. The Special Report is cardinally seeking to expose those that killed, abducted, disappeared, arbitrarily arrested and detained and tortured; those that aided, abetted and omitted to act to stop the killings, abductions, disappearances and torture; and those that were killed, abducted, tortured and disappeared. Also being sought are: when, where, how and why the killings, abductions, arbitrary arrests and detentions, torture and disappearances and location and number of houses and other defenseless civilian properties burned down or wantonly destroyed and those responsible or those that aided and abetted their burnings or destructions. The Report also contained several sections including local, regional and international legal frameworks, lists of victims and state and non state actor perpetrators, etc. For full details of the Special Report, the link is here: https://intersociety-ng.org/armed-state-actors-and-armed-non-state-actors-killed-1600-unarmed-citizens-in-29-months-in-imo-state/
Killings And Burning Of Civilian Houses Have Continued With Impunity In Imo State
In the past 30 days or since 21st May 2023; one month after our Special Research and Investigative Report, over 40 civilian lives and 200 civilian houses and thousands of other properties have been wantonly destroyed by armed state actors especially the drafted personnel of Nigerian Army, Nigeria Police Force and the murderous and anarchist operatives of the Imo Ebubeagu Militia (Vigilante) Group. In the latest carnage, Izombe and adjoining communities and villages in Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State is the worst hit. According to verified media reports, “indigenes of Amakpurudere village in Izombe Community, Oguta Local Government area of Imo State have accused security operatives of murdering five persons and razing down more than 170 buildings in the oil bearing area in the last two weeks. An indigene of Amakpurudere Izombe village, who spoke on condition of anonymity said in an interview on Monday June 19 that five natives of his village have been killed by these security operatives between June 7 and Monday June 19, 2023. The five persons so far killed in Amakpurudere Village alone were:Benjamin Nwadirigbo, Nwabu Onuigbo (Danvata), Obieze Ajaere, Izuka Izuaghanwa and Chike Izuaghanwa”.
The Source further narrated that “some others were equally killed in other villages of Izombe like; Ndiawa, Ndioko, Orsu and Ugbele and Agwa a neighboring Community to Izombe. The combined team of Police, Ebubeagu and the military had equally destroyed more than 170 buildings in various villages including over 45 houses in Amakpurudere Village alone”. “As we speak, I no longer visit home just like many others in spite of the information that our family house was among those destroyed”, he said. According to him, the houses burnt down in Amakpurudere Village alone belong to the following: Emmanuel Chukwudoruo, Romanus Obiagwu, Philip Okoronkwo, Ifeanyi Umezuruike, Canice Ogbonna, Herbert Nwoke, Late Lucky Nwoke, Lambart Ekejiuba, Simeon Ekejiuba, Sabastine Okereke, Emeka Awaeze and Dom Iwuanyanwu”. Others whose houses were affected are: Benjamin Ohanyirim, Jerome Ohanyirim, Late Marcelinus Ogbonna, Lawrence Ogbonna, Calistus Ononiwu, Chief Alex Madubuko, Chief Oliver Ihejirika, Anthony Ihejirika, Alphonsius Ogbonna among others. The source added that he only gave specific information about his village, adding that more than 170 buildings mentioned excluded those damaged last August in Ugbele Village, Eziama and other villages when the incessant attack began. “The figure does not include over 150 buildings the military burnt in Umuokwu, Ndioko and Umuorji in October, 2021 when there was a clash with the youths as a result of toll collected from crude oil bunkers. “In fact if you visit Izombe, you will conclude that the Imo State government really does not think good of Izombe in spite of the viable economic status of the community before now”. Source: https://thesouthernexaminer.com/imo-community-deserted-as-security-agents-murder-raze-down-houses-p10126-268.htm
29 World Leaders Petitioned To Intervene In Imo Mass Atrocities
Intersociety had on 12th of June 2023 sent a joint letter to 29 world leaders through their ambassadors or high commissioners to Nigeria. The letter urged and is still urging them to intervene in Imo State to bring to an end the ongoing mass atrocities in the State. The joint letter was addressed to the Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Nigeria and ECOWAS and the Ambassadors of the Netherlands, the Finland, the Poland, the Federal Republic of Germany, the France, the Spain, the Czech Republic, the Italy, the Belgium, the Denmark, the Portugal, the Republic of Greece, the Austria, the Hungary, the Bulgaria, the Slovakia and the Sweden. Others are the High Commissioners of the Britain, the Canadian and the Australia; and the Ambassadors of the United States of America, the Israel, the Royal Norway, the Ireland (High Commissioner), the Switzerland, the Brazil, the Japan and the South Korea. The joint letter was successfully delivered to the 29 world leaders between 12th and 16th of June 2023. A related letter, dated 13th June 2023, was also sent to seven top UK Government officials: the Rt. Hon James Cleverly, UK Foreign Secretary/MP, the Rt. Hon Andrew Mitchell, UK Minister of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Dev Office/Minister for Dev and Africa) and a member of House of Commons, Rt. Hon Anne-Maria Trevelyan, UK Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Dev Office) and a member of House of Commons, Rt. Hon David Rutley (MP for Macclesfield), UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign, Commonwealth and Dev Office and a member of House of Commons, Rt. Hon Leo Docherty, UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign, Commonwealth and Dev Office and a member of House of Commons, David Patrick Paul Alton, the Lord Alton of Liverpool and a respected member of House of Lords and Dame Caroline Anne Cox, the Baroness Cox of House of Lords.
Intersociety’s Requests From The World Leaders Called Upon
The leadership of the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) had in its joint letters called for international visa ban and other legal, diplomatic and justice actions against Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State and others indicted in the Special Research and Investigative Report on Imo. We also called for an end to butcheries and civilian house burnings in the State and apprehension and prosecution of the perpetrators involved; be they armed state actors or armed non state actors or indicted elected or appointed public office holders including drafted or national security chiefs; whether serving or former. It was further requested that the leading perpetrators listed in the Page 33 (last page) of the Special Research and Investigative Report and their immediate families should be placed on visa ban and stopped from entering the 30 internationally respected Democratic countries called upon including the UK, the US, the Canada and countries of the European Union; Brazil and Israel. The international travel bans and restrictions under our strong demand should affect participations and awards and other forms of international career, professional and private dealings or exchanges.
Specifically, the present Government and Governor of Imo State, identified as having grossly omitted to act and aided and abetted and egregiously and grisly conspired in the mass atrocities should be targeted for necessary sanctions and international blacklisting. A strong appeal was also made to the world leaders called upon or petitioned, on behalf of the persecuted Christians in Nigeria who have continued to be at the receiving end as targets and victims of egregious attacks and violence (‘industrial-scale’ crimes against persons/groups and their properties) by the country’s Islamic Jihadists and their protectors in the country’s seats of power in which the Government of Nigeria has severally been strongly accused of doing nothing or being inescapably complicit. This is to the extent over 2,300 defenseless Christians have been hacked to death by the Jihadists under the first six months of 2023 (Jan-June); over 31,000 slaughtered since June 2015 and 53,000 since the 2009 Boko Haram uprising; over 18,000 churches and 2,200 Christian schools burned down or wantonly destroyed, 1000 Christian communities sacked, 50m Christians uprooted and 15m Christian IDPs generated; out of which Benue State accounts for more than 2.5m Christian IDPs alone.
For: International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law
· Emeka Umeagbalasi (Criminologist-Researcher), Board Chair
· Chinwe Umeche Esquire, Head, Democracy and Good Governance
· Obianuju Joy Igboeli Esquire, Head, Civil Liberties and Rule of Law
· Chidinma Udegbunam, Esquire, Head of Publicity
· Ndidiamaka Catherine Bernard Esquire, Head, Int’l Justice and Human Rights
· Ositadinma Agu, Head, Int’l Contacts and Mobilization