…our joint research findings have unmasked Nigerian security forces and more than 20 Government-linked armed groups as those killing and burning defenseless citizens and properties outside the lawi n Igbo Land using politics, religion and ransom as weapons since January 2021; joined by more than 300 ‘street criminal entities’ and tens of thousands of “individual criminal persons” engaging in sundry ‘street criminalities
Enugu, Eastern Nigeria
Monday, August 28, 2023
By this Special Investigative Report of the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law in collaboration with the Ekwenche Research Institute, Chicago-Illinois, USA and the Global Igbo Leaders Coalition, United Kingdom, the remote reasons behind the rising and proliferation of no fewer than 20 armed killer entities and high influx of illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALWs) in Igbo Land especially South-East and Igbo parts of the South-South Nigeria since 2015 and Jan 2021 (when escalations and proliferations heightened) have been traced to the former Government of Buhari’s bent on laying siege, conquering and enslaving the Igbo Land, her defenseless populations and properties for purposes of radical Islamism and politics of hate, segregation and exclusion. The worst affected States have been identified in this Report to include: Imo and Ebonyi; followed by Anambra, Enugu, Abia, Rivers and Delta. Also affected are the ancestral Igbo populations and their neighbors in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo and Delta as well as Benue, Nasarrawa and Kogi States in North-Central Nigeria.
It must be reminded that this Special Investigative Report had arisen from Intersociety’s recent Reports issued on May 21, 2023 (Imo Mass Atrocities: 33 Pages), July 16, 2023 (Over 50 Armed Groups Raised In Nigeria To Kill On The Grounds Of Religion, Politics And Ransom Since June 2015: Seven Pages) and July 31, 2023 (N2.8 Trillion Seized From Easterners At Gunpoint By Criminal Security Personnel And Non State Armed Groups In Three Years Of Jan 2021-July 2023: Five Pages).
This Joint Special Investigative Report also contains 20 References of the Research Reports by Intersociety covering Dec 2015 to August 2023.
The no fewer than 20 Government-linked armed killer groups in Igbo Land identified in this Special Investigative Report are found to have been raised and armed indirectly with illicit SALWs by the Government of Nigeria under Buhari and its allied sub-national (State) Governments in the East such as the Government of Imo State under Hope Uzodinma and the past Government of Ebonyi State under Dave Umahi.
The two sub-national Governments are strongly suspected to have been federally engaged as ‘willing tools’ to counter and counterfeit ‘Biafra Self Determination Agitations’ and nonviolent activities of the mainstream agitators with intents to class-criminalize and mass-kill defenseless law abiding members of the Igbo population and wantonly burn down or destroy their properties. Such class criminalization by the Nigerian Government under Buhari and its deployed security forces had consistently been used since August 2015 and heightened since Oct 2020 in Rivers State and Jan 2021 in Imo State and other parts of Igbo Land which saw thousands of unarmed Igbo Easterners and defenseless properties massacred or wantonly destroyed in the past three years using politics of exclusion and hate, religion and ethnicity as weapons.
This Special Investigative Report, therefore, has identified “the Nigerian security forces in Igbo Land and the more than 20 Government-linked armed groups, as those killing and burning outside the law in Igbo Land particularly in the past three years or Jan 2021 to August 2023, using religion, politics and thefts including ransom as weapons”.
They are joined by more than 300 “street criminal entities” and tens of thousands of “individual criminal persons” engaging in sundry “street criminalities” on account of Igbo Land wearing “blue-collar” sub-cultural identity.
The South-East and Igbo parts of the South-South have also been gripped by state actor generated insecurity and other.unsafe conditions such as heavy militarization and placement of the Region under ‘police state’ resulting in unchecked mass atrocities including arbitrary arrests and detentions, abductions, torture and other inhuman and degrading treatments or punishments, disappearances, extrajudicial killings within and outside the custodies; burning down or destruction of civilian houses and other properties and lootings, etc. Other armed state actor mass atrocities in Igbo Land targeted at defenseless Igbo citizens and their properties are false labeling, ethnic profiling, class criminalization, etc.
The drafted security forces and their commanders in Igbo Land are also integrity challenged and biased; by targeting and treating members of the lawful population as “criminals” and members of the unlawful population as “lawful citizens”.
A clear case in point is brazen aiding of jihadist activities of the Fulani Herdsmen and other Jihadists including invasion, seizure and occupation of forests, bushes and farmlands in Igbo Land or forceful acquisition of the same using MACABAN.
Included in the list are forceful Islamic marriages and conversions, killings, abductions, disappearances, armed robberies, kidnap-for-ransoms and infliction of pains and fears on general civilian population with intent to loot, plunder, destroy, conquer, terrify, terrorize, enslave and Islamize;.all perpetrated under the protection of the Nigerian Government security or coercive establishments.
Buhari Government’s “State Jihadism Project”/Military Siege In Igbo Land Started In 2016
The former Buhari’s Government “State Jihadism” and military siege in Igbo Land including Igbo parts of the South-South are traced to the first quarter of 2016 during which the country’s security forces and their commanders got compromised and moved from secularism to pro Islamism.
The escalated insecurity and other unsafe conditions in South-East and South-South are generally rooted in the emergence of Retired Major General Muhammad Buhari as Nigeria’s President in 2015 who immediately after unveiled his intentions to collapse the country into an ‘Caliphate Islamic State’ of the “Taliban Model” in Afghanistan.
The Buhari’s Government was also strongly suspected to have few months after assuming office begun the transformation of the country’s security forces including the armed forces, the police, the intelligence agencies and the paramilitaries into pro Islamic security establishments; to the extent that after the middle of 2015, the Nigerian Army was allegedly ordered to carry country-wide forest and bush mappings disguised as “counterinsurgency measures against Boko Haram and other Islamic insurgencies”.
The mappings, in the end, turned out to be targeted at South-East, South-South, South-West and Middle-Best for purpose of ‘State Jihad Conquest Project’ in the East, Christian South-West and the Middle-Belt using state and non-state coercive and political forces or establishments.
By early 2016, the Buhari’s Government allegedly initiated secret Islamic conquest movements of the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen and other Jihadists; assembled from within and outside Nigeria and armed with AK-47s. This was the beginning of “political and religious” insecurity and proliferation of illicit small arms and light weapons (SALWs) in Igbo Land.
The Islamic conquest movements were also strongly suspected to have been heavily aided and protected by the Nigerian military formations during which forests, bushes and farmlands of South-South, South-East, Middle-Belt and Christian parts of the South-West were invaded, seized and occupied.
Findings by Intersociety later showed that over 700 communal locations including forests, bushes and farmlands across the.South-East and Igbo parts of Rivers, Delta, Edo, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Nasarrawa, Kogi and Benue States have been seized and occupied by Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen and other Government assembled Jihadists as at 2022.
These findings were also corroborated by a former Police DIG (retired in 2020) who in 2021 disclosed that “not less than 336 locations in the South-East have been occupied by Fulani Herdsmen armed with AK-47s”.
The Buhari’s Government also saw the rise of IPOB and its Self Determination agitations as a serious threat to its State Jihad Project and to counter this, the Government adopted radical approaches including different obnoxious measures akin to “Rwanda’s Hutu Genocidal Measures” including funding and arming of counterfeiters using conformist political actors including top Government functionaries in Ebonyi State (under Umahi) and Imo State (under Uzodinma).
The above was to the extent that the past Government of Ebonyi State was strongly suspected to have been federally contracted to counterfeit and counter the IPOB’s Eastern Security Network (formed in Dec 2020) leading to the launch of ‘Ebubeagu Security Arrangement’ in April 2021 to counter ESN and sustain Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen terrorism in Igbo Land.
The idea behind the “Ebubeagu Security Arrangement” was later found to have been muted by Buhari Government of Nigeria using the Chairmanship of the South-East Governors’ Forum.
Investigations carried out by Intersociety into the composition of the security chiefs manning federal military, police and intelligence formations in Igbo Land that attended meetings leading to the launch of “the Ebubeagu Security Arrangement” revealed that “out of more than 20 security chiefs drawn from police (CPs and AIGs), DSS (South-East States’ DSS Directors), Army (GOC, 82 Division and his Principal Officers and the Commanders of 14 and 34 Brigades and Commandant of the 302 Artillery Regiment), Navy (Commanders of Onitsha, Oguta (if any) and Owerre-Nta Naval formations) and Air Force (AOC, Enugu Air Force Base, etc); most were northern Muslims and none was from the South-East”.
All of the above are likely to have explained why the Government of Enugu State under Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Abia State under Okezie Ikpeazu and Anambra State under William Obiano refused to embrace the dreaded security outfit since January 2021 till date.
In Ebonyi State where the dreaded security outfit was unveiled in Dec 2021, it was renamed in March 2023 as “the Ebonyi State Vigilante Corps” and “the Ebonyi State Neighborhood Watch”.
The above was as a result of the proscription of the “Ebubeagu Vigilante Group” by a Federal High Court sitting in Abakiliki in February 2023. The “Ebubeagu Security arrangement” is therefore not only a counterfeit and anti self determination instrument but also a channel through which illicit SALWs are proliferated and Ekpa’s Autopilots,
Dokubo’s Niger Delta Islamic Militants, MACABAN Vigilante Group, Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen and other Government-linked private armies and death squads are assembled to kill, maim, abduct, disappear, pillage, loot, plunder and burn and destroy defenseless lives and properties in Igbo Land and its neighbors since January 2021.
Igbo Land Is Home To Estimated 2m Of Nigeria’s 7m Illicit Small Arms And Light Weapons
The insecurity and other unsafe conditions in Igbo Land are further fueled by the growing number of illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons estimated to be 2m in circulation and wrong hands. This is out of Nigeria’s estimated 7m SALWs.
The estimated 2m illicit SALWs in Igbo Land including South-East and Igbo parts of Rivers and Delta States further indicates a shocking increase of 1.2m to 1.5m from the 2015 estimates of 500,000-800,000 SALWs, out of Nigeria’s 5m illicit SALWs estimated as at June 2015.
That is to say that 1.2m-1.5m SALWs have been trafficked and proliferated in Igbo Land alone in the past eight years or June 2015 to August 2023.
The Rise Of ‘Ebubeagu’ As The Beginning Of Counterfeiting Of IPOB Activities In Igbo Land
This Report has traced the “Biafra Self Determination Counterfeiting Project” of the Nigerian Government under Buhari, coordinated in Igbo Land through some top functionaries in the Government of Imo State under Gov Hope Uzodinma and the Government of Ebonyi State under former Gov Dave Umahi, to the April 2021 launch of “the Ebubeagu security arrangement”. It is also on record that IPOB and other Biafra agitators used nonviolence in their self determination campaigns or activities from 2014 until Dec 2020 when IPOB formed the “Eastern Security Network” to counter the Nigerian Government and its security forces-protected Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen and their incursions into the Igbo Land’s farmlands, forests, bushes and other strategic locations including the “South-East.Triangle”. The IPOB’s ESN also became vindictive by stepping up attacks between Jan and Dec 2021 against the Nigerian security operatives and Government facilities as a revenge against the security forces violent crackdowns targeted at its unarmed members and other defenseless members of the Eastern population; causing the death of over 1000 unarmed citizens or civilians and injuring of 700.
Abductions and disappearances, arbitrary arrests and detentions and torture and other inhuman and degrading treatments or punishments were also the order of the day particularly between August 2015 and Dec 2020.
It must be noted that since August 2015 till this month of August 2023, no single criminal court conviction has been secured by the prosecuting authorities of the Federal and State Governments against any of the arrested and detained IPOB members.
It was also under the IPOB’s nonviolence era (2014-Dec 2020) that “sit-at-home” was introduced including enforcement of the “Monday-Sit-At-Home” put in place between Jan and June 2021; likewise enforcement of “no elections in Biafra Land” during the 2017 and 2021 Anambra Governorship Polls/the 2019 Presidential Poll.
From our in-depth investigations following available intelligence, “a reversal order to ESN on cessation of attacks against security agencies and Government facilities” was issued after June 2021 by IPOB Leader, Nnamdi Kanu “except right to self defense when under asymmetric or systematic attacks”; during which
ESN was ordered to focus on countering the jihadists’ incursions into Igbo Land. The IPOB’s ESN revengeful attacks on security establishments and enforcement of ‘Sit-at-Home’ between Jan and Dec 2021 also caused the collateral death of dozens of uninvolved citizens and destruction of properties.
The anti Jihadist defensive attacks by the IPOB’s ESN were also met with coordinated reprisal attacks by Government forces drawn from the military, the police and the spy police; joined by the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen, the Niger Delta Islamic Militants, the MACABAN Vigilante Group and allied others in Igbo Land.
The Nigerian security forces are also found to have not only taken sides with the invading Jihadists but also deployed heavy weapons and armaments (war-grade) across the forests, bushes and farmlands in Igbo Land to kill, maim, abduct, disappear, loot, plunder and burn or destroy thousands of defenseless members of the Igbo Population and their properties and have the slain and the destroyed labeled“ IPOB/ESN hoodlums and properties”.
The Rise Of More Than 20 Government-Linked Armed Groups In Igbo Land Since 2021
More than 20 Government-linked armed killer entities have been raised in the Igbo South-East States of Anambra, Imo, Ebonyi, Enugu, Abia and Igbo parts of Rivers, Cross Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Delta States in the South-South.
Most of these killer groups are found to have been directly or indirectly linked to the Government of Nigeria under Buhari and its subversive security and intelligence establishments.
Apart from being federally raised and protected, their “counterpart funding” and offensive activities are sanctioned by various South-East or Igbo Land State Governments through their officials and offices in charge of “Homeland Security and Vigilante Matters”.
Among more than 20 Government-linked killer armed entities are political death squads operating in places like Imo, Ebonyi, Anambra and Enugu.
They have been linked to high profile political killings and abductions in recent years particularly since 2021.
In Ebonyi State under Dave Umahi, killings linked to Government-linked political death squads and private armies have been the order of the day since 2021; to the extent that during the election campaigns in late 2022 and those leading to the elections of 2023, no fewer than 30 political killings and undisclosed number of political abductions took place.
One of them was the.abduction and attempted murder in Nov 2022 of Hon Abia Onyeike, a former Commissioner for Information and State Orientation.
Other than that of Hon Abia Onyeike, most of the killings and abductions from late 2022 and March 2023 were hardly reported. It was also on account of Hon Abia Onyeike’s ordeal that a Federal High Court sitting in Abakiliki in Feb 2023 proscribed the Ebubeagu Vigilante Group in Ebonyi State for “engaging in human rights abuses, extortions, illegal arrests and illegal use of firearms”.
It must be remembered that the monstrous security outfit was formed by the Government of Dave Umahi in April 2021 and inaugurated in Dec 2021.
In Imo State under Hope Uzodinma, killings and abductions linked to political political death squads have also been the order of the day since January 2021. Not only that some high class traditional, religious and political figures were abducted or killed by Government-linked political death squads in the State but also their houses and other properties including those of Hon Ugochinyere Ikenga Imo were set ablaze or destroyed.
In Anambra State, political death squads also existed and still exist and had been fingered in a number of high profile killings and abductions including the 2022 beheading of a serving member of the State House of Assembly and abduction and permanent disappearance of the 2021 Governorship Candidate of the Labour Party.
Government-linked death squads and private armies.also had a hand in the Anambra Governorship Election boycott activities (i.e. “no elections in Biafra Land”) of 2021.
The neighboring Enugu State is also not left out of the atrocities of the Government-linked political death squads and private armies including the 2023 assassination of the Labour Party Senatorial Candidate for Enugu East. These are just to mention but a few.
Eight killer Dimensions Of Buhari Government Jihad Project In Igbo Land
The Buhari’s Government State Jihad policy and project were started in 2016 involving a suspected multi billion naira funds from publicly borrowed funds and other public funds and its eight killer dimensions include (1) ‘security forces transformation into pro Islamism’, (2) ‘South-East/South-South Jihad conquest project’ through subversive military and other security activities; in addition to inducement packages and conversions through threat of force and policies of segregation (.i.e.structural, cultural and physical violence)’, (3) ‘religious induced killings, abductions, disappearances and property burnings and destructions by armed state actors and Government-linked armed non state actors’, (4) ‘secret Islamic conversions using multi billion naira funded inducements coordinated using some sub-national “willing tools” including top functionaries or public office holders in the Governments of Imo and Ebonyi States (.i.e. funding of pro Islamic organizations and sponsorship.of converted Igbo Christians in their thousands to Mecca for hajji, etc)’, (5) ‘Islamization conquest project through MACABAN land purchases in Igbo Land using Government-linked proxies and suspected to have been secretly funded by Government of Nigeria under Buhari and using some sub-national Governments’ officials as “willing tools”, (6) ‘counterfeiting the Biafra Self Determination Agitations through the likes of Mujahedeen Asari Dokubo and his Niger Delta Islamic Militants, Simon Ekpa’s Autopilots, MACABAN Vigilante Group, Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen, Ebubeagu Vigilante Groups of Ebonyi and Imo States and several Private Armies with links to Governments of Imo, Ebonyi and Anambra’, (7) ‘flooding of the federal security, defense, police, intelligence and paramilitary formations in Igbo Land with personnel and senior officers of northern and other tribal
Muslim extractions and the ‘above the law license’ on Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen and allied others issued by Buhari as.“Commander-in-Chief”, (8)’subversive activities of the subversive elements drawn from the military, the police and the intelligence establishments including killings and burnings targeting defenseless Igbo civilians and properties so as to blame them on “IPOB/ESN terrorists or hoodlums”.
Govt.-Linked Private Armies/Death Squads In The Killings And Burnings In Igbo Land
Among the more than 20 Government-linked killer groups in Igbo Land are private armies and death squads linked to various sub-national Governments in the South-East and Delta and Rivers States.
The worst affected three States are Imo, Ebonyi and Anambra. These private armies and political death squads are linked to their respective State Governments through their top functionaries. In Anambra State, a serving Commissioner for “Homeland Security” was strongly accused recently by the leadership of IPOB of “running a lucrative kidnap-for-ransom syndicate across the State as well as fueling insecurity by being used by MACABAN and Nigerian Government to purchase lands for Fulani Herdsmen and MACABAN in places like Awka North, Awka South, Oyi and so on”.
Till date, the strongly accused Commissioner and the Government of Anambra State have not concretely denied the serious allegation. Traced by this Report are scores of Government-linked private armies and political death squads operating in different South-East and Igbo South-South States responsible for different forms of insecurity and other unsafe conditions in the Region especially with religious and political connotations.
These Government-linked private armies and political death squads also carry out their offensive activities as assigned to them by their superiors including counterfeiting Biafra agitations and conniving with criminal security operatives and jihadists to.spread terror and bloodletting in Igbo Land and camouflaging them as “having been perpetrated or carried out by IPOB/ESN”.
Igbo Governors Too Illiterate To Understand And Embrace ‘Human Security’
The Governors of the named Igbo States and their neighbors are found in this Special Investigative Report to be busy wastefully and lavishly spending billions of naira monthly on “security votes” without anything to show for it.
These Governments of the South-East States and those of Rivers and Delta, etc have consistently heightened and over-blown security matters and illiterately paid attention to “trigger dimension” or “cork-and-shoot” as the only solution to insecurity and other unsafe conditions.
They fundamentally triggered insecurity and other unsafe conditions in Igbo Land by woefully failing to offer good and accountable governances in their respective States.
This is to the extent that the general citizens of their States and territories have suffered from the absence of ‘human security’ and its seven key dimensions of environmental security, health security, food security, community security, physical security, economic security and personal security. The Governors and other political leaders in Igbo Land have also turned around and plunged the Region into police and military siege and dumping grounds for illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons and their killing fields.
Ebonyi And Imo Governments Federally Used In Killings And Burnings In Igbo Land
It was for purpose of enslavement and “Jihadist conquest” of Igbo Land that the Buhari Government was strongly suspected to have recruited ‘willing tools’ such as the Ebonyi State Government under Dave Umahi and the Imo State Government under Hope Uzodinma as “partners and coordinators” in killings and burnings in Igbo Land.
Many of the remaining Governors of the Igbo-speaking States also seemed to have been forced to adopt or accept the pro Islamic policies or programs of the Buhari Government including mandatory compliance to the same as a condition for ‘winning’ their first and second term governorship seats”. Apart from the above, the widely and strongly suspected counterfeit Biafra Self Determination project of the Nigerian Government under Buhari have been coordinated in Igbo Land using the “Ebubeagu security arrangement”. This is to the extent that the real motive behind the widely condemned security arrangement has turned out to be a secretly Federal Government raised ‘anti Biafra/IPOB/ESN killer squad; allied with Jihadist groups to kill, maim, abduct, disappear, loot, plunder, burn or destroy in Igbo Land or any part thereof.
Killings And Burnings Arising From Election Boycott Enforcements In Igbo Land
Government-linked insecurity and other unsafe conditions troubling the South-East particularly Imo, Ebonyi and Anambra States are partly found to have arisen from Government-linked armed killer-entities raised and armed by murderous Government establishments and their top functionaries.
These Government-linked killer entities are activated during electioneering in places like Imo, Anambra and Ebonyi States to enforce election boycott.
Apart from being recruited and armed to violently disrupt the electioneering including campaigns using slogans like “no election in Biafra Land”, they also set houses of political opponents and private and campaign vehicles ablaze and abduct, disappear and kill notable political actors and create general state of fears to scare voting and campaigning citizens away and pave way or ground for rigging including widespread manipulation of result figures and forcing voting processes to be brutally suppressed and determined by a fraction of the voting population loyal to the incumbents or ruling parties through massive vote buying.
Typical cases in point were the Anambra Governorship polls of Nov 2021 as well as the 2019 and the 2023 Presidential polls in the South-East and South-South States of Delta and Rivers.
Other actors involved in the above are soldiers and police crack squads and counterfeit Biafra agitators (.i.e. Simon Ekpa’s Autopilots).
Asari Dokubo’s Niger Delta Islamic Militants Linked To Killings And Burnings In Igbo Land
Going by recent revelations via media interviews by Alhaji Mujahedeen Asari Dokubo, leader of the Niger Delta Islamic Militants and other intelligence gathered by Intersociety, one of the Government-linked killer groups wrecking havoc including killing, maiming, abducting, disappearing, looting, plundering and burning or destroying defenseless persons and properties in South-East and Igbo parts of South-South and other Igbo parts of the North-Central since January 2021 are the Niger Delta Islamic Militants; formerly “Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force” formed in 2004.
The transformed dreaded jihadist group had become one of Nigeria’s military and police protected and allied jihadist Private Armies under the Islamist Government of Retired Major General Muhammad Buhari (May 29, 2015-May 29, 2023).
The group is strongly believed to have been contracted and militarily aided and protected for the execution of Buhari’s ‘State Jihad Project’ across the Southern and the Middle-Belt Regions.
The services of the Asari Dokubo’s Niger Delta Islamic Militants were allegedly secured by the present Government of Anambra State since 2022 to track down non-state ‘Unknown Gunmen”, “IPOB members” and the armed Eastern Security Network of IPOB; leading to dozens, if not hundreds of innocent lives and properties wantonly destroyed through false labeling and hearsay conclusions.
The Asari Dokubo’s Niger Delta Islamic Militants, the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen, the MACABAN Vigilante Group and other imported Jihadists in Igbo Land and its neighbors have also enjoyed state protection including immunity from military and police arrest and ‘above the law license on jihadists in South-East, South-South and Middle-Belt Regions. Apart from killing, maiming, abducting, disappearing, looting, plundering and burning or destroying in the name of religion and ethnicity in Igbo Land and its neighbors, the above named Islamic terror groups have also been constantly fingered in the ongoing counterfeit Biafra activities in the South-East Region since 2021.
Included in the Government-linked armed killer entities are Ebonyi State/Imo State Governments-funded Ebubeagu Vigilante Group, the Autopilots (main.Government-linked armed counterfeit Biafra self determination group) led by Simon Ekpa and various sub-national Governments’ linked private armies and death squads particularly those operating in Imo, Ebonyi, Anambra and Abia.
All of the groups above are strongly suspected to be the allies of the Nigerian Military and the Police establishments enjoying their protection and sharing accountabilities with them in the mass atrocities ravaging the South-East and Igbo parts of the South-South and the North-Central. The Asari Dokubo led Niger Delta Islamic
Militants, therefore, could be held accountable for loss of more than 500 defenseless lives and properties valued a thundreds of millions particularly in Ebonyi, Imo, Abia and Anambra States since 2021.
The Rise And Involvement Of Ekpa’s Autopilots In The Killings And Burnings In Igbo Land
According to recent investigations by Intersociety, Autopilots (a pro establishment armed counterfeit Biafra Self Determination Group) have been identified as one of the counterfeit Biafra Self Determination groups raised or infiltrated by Government of Nigeria under Retired Major General Muhammad Buhari.
The offensive Group is led by Simon Ekpa and its offensive activities had since 2021 when its spread and weaponization began, become widespread.
The origin of the group has been traced to launch of ‘Ebubeagu counterfeit security arrangement’ in April 2021.
The pioneer armed foot-soldiers of the group deployed in forests and bushes especially in Ebonyi, Enugu, Anambra and Imo are found to be of Ebonyi origins who are speakers Ebonyi dialects. Their deployment and weaponization in Igbo Land forests and bushes are dated back to mid 2021. The group is strongly suspected to be linked to Nigerian Government under Buhari and protected and secretly weaponized by Federal Government through the Government of Ebonyi State under Umahi and the Government of Imo State under Uzodinma.
As a counterfeit Biafra Self Determination group under the tutelage of the Nigerian Government and its intelligence, military and police establishments, the group has consistently disguised as “Pro Biafra Agitators fighting for the release of Nnamdi Kanu and independence of Biafra”.
The group has lately used the above to earn some popularity and followership including receiving secret donations in hard currencies from some South-Easterners in Diaspora.
Some disenchanted members of the Eastern Security Network and IPOB members have also joined the group recently. The above is to say that the Simon Ekpa led Autopilots are one of the groups camouflaging as “Biafra Self Determination Agitators” in Igbo Land including engaging in violent enforcement of the Monday-Sit-At-Home and whimsically and capriciously ordering “two weeks sit-at-home”.
Jihadist Herdsmen/MACABAN Vigilante Group In The Killings And Burnings In Igbo Land
While the involvement of the MACABAN (Miyatti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria) Vigilante Group in.the killings and burnings in the South-East and Igbo parts of the South-South could be traced to 2021 following the formation of the “South-East counterfeit Ebubeagu security arrangement”, the involvement of the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen and allied others is dated back to April 2016 Nimbo massacre in Uzo-Uwani, Enugu State leading to killing of 48 Christians. Since then, estimated 1000 Igbo-Easterners have been hacked to death in their farmlands and homes across Igbo Land and over 1000 others abducted and properties worth billions burned down or wantonly destroyed.
The Nigerian security forces aided and protected Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen incursions into Igbo Land with their AK-47s started in 2016 using the cover of the “internal security operations”.
Since then, over 100 Igbo communities including those in Okigwe, Ideato North, Oguta, Orlu, Ohaji Egbema, Umunneochi, Ohafia, Isukwuato, Isiala-Ngwa, Awka North, Awka South, Orumba North, Oyi, Ayamelum, Anambra East, Anambra West, Oshimili North, Oshimili South, Elele, Uzo-Uwani, Isi-Uzo, Igbo-Eze North, Igbo-Eze South, Oji, Awgu, Udi, Nkanu East, Nkanu West, Enugu East, Ezeagu, Ohazara, Afikpo, etc have constantly come under jihadist attacks or threats of same including being threatened with mass killings and destructions by the Fulani Herdsmen and allied others.
Subversive State Security Elements Involved In The Killings And Burnings In Igbo Land Identified and strongly suspected in this Report was the secret funding by the Buhari’s Government of subversive elements (“Government Unknown Gunmen”) within the country’s defense, security, policing and intelligence establishments to run subversive security operations in Igbo Land targeted at killing, maiming, abducting, disappearing and assassinating high profile members of the Igbo population and burning down or wantonly destroying civilian properties including religious and traditional sanctuaries and have them blamed on “IPOB/ESN” as part of counterfeiting their “Biafra Self Determination Agitations”. Members of the Nigeria Police Force’s Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) and the Intelligence Response Squad (IRT), etc had been strongly fingered in a number of politically-motivated killings or assassinations or deadly attacks in Anambra, Imo and Ebonyi States especially since January 2021.
The Sept 2022 attack on Senator Ifeanyi’s convoy at Enugu-Ukwu is a clear case in point; likewise the Sept 2021 assassination attempt on Engineer Chris Azubogu, a former House of Reps Member representing the Nnewi North/South/Ekwusigo Federal Constituency. In the two deadly attacks, available ‘closed-source’ intelligence strongly suggests that some Police Crack Squad operatives are strongly suspected.
The Roles Of ‘Security’ Commissioners/Advisers In The Killings And Burnings In Igbo Land
The existence and offensive conducts or activities of the more than 20 Government-linked armed groups in Igbo Land especially the armed counterfeit Biafra Self Determination groups, the Government-linked Private Armies and Political Death Squads such as the Ebubeagu Vigilante Group and other Vigilante Groups operating under different names and covers and the Asari Dokubo’s Niger Delta Islamic Militants are all traced to Commissioners of Homeland Security and Special Security Advisers to Igbo Land Governors especially in Imo, Ebonyi and Anambra.
These ‘Homeland Security’ Commissioners and Security Advisers have also been found to be condoning or sanctioning the jihadist activities of the Fulani Herdsmen, the MACABAN Vigilante Group, and other Jihadists in their respective States including using state machineries to deceitfully procure or annex communal lands for the Nigerian Government’s “State Jihad Project’ through MACABAN and other Fulani/Islamic leaders.
Clear cases in point were recent attempts to annex a large communal land at Umunze in Anambra State and strong accusation leveled against the Anambra Homeland Commissioner that “he is acquiring lands for MACABAN in Awka South, Awka North and Oyi axis”, etc. The engagement of the services of the Asari Dokubo’s Niger Delta Islamic Militants is also another investigative finding traced to the doorsteps of the Igbo Land Governors’ Homeland Commissioners and Security Advisers particularly in Imo, Ebonyi and Anambra.
Intersociety in collaboration with undersigned international partners have also investigated and found that there exist “Commissioner for Homeland Security and Vigilante Affairs” in Imo State; “Commissioner for Internal Security and Border Peace and Conflict Resolution” in Ebonyi State and “Commissioner for Homeland Security” in Anambra State.
Similar portfolios also exist in Abia and Enugu States. These are in addition to the Offices of the Governors’ Special Security Advisers. In Ebonyi State, there are “Governor’s Special Advisers on Security for each of the State’s 13 Local Government Areas” or “Special Security Adviser to Ebonyi State Governor for Abakiliki, Izzi, Ezza North, Afikpo South, Afikpo North, Ohaukwu, Ebonyi, Onicha, Ishielu, Ezza South, Ikwo, Ivo and Ohaozara”.
The State is also presently dotted with “35 Commissioners”. Apart from openly or secretly coordinating the offensive and atrocious conducts and activities of many, if not most of the more than 20 ‘Government-linked Private Armies and
Political Death Squads’ and condoning or conspiring with the invading Jihadists to wreck havoc in Igbo Land, “the Homeland Security Commissioners and Special Security Advisers of the Igbo Land Governors” also serve as conduit pipes through which public funds worth billions of naira are wasted or squandered every month using “Governors’ security votes” as a cover.
Nigerian Security Forces’ Formations Involved In The Killings And Burnings In Igbo Land
The Nigerian security forces’ formations killing and burning defenseless Igbo citizens and properties outside the law in Igbo Land particularly since Jan 2021 are those drawn from the Nigerian Army, joined by Navy and Air Force formations in the South-East and Igbo parts of the South-South. The lead-military formations include 82 and 6 Divisions of the Nigerian Army, Enugu and Port Court and their subordinate area formations; namely: 34 Brigade,
Obinze, 13 Brigade, Calabar, 14 Brigade, Ohafia, 2 Brigade, Uyo, 63 Brigade, Asaba, 4 Brigade, Benin, 302 Artillery
Regiment, Onitsha, 24 Engineering Regiment, Abakiliki, 131 Battalion, Awkunanaw-Enugu and other Amphibious and Artillery battalions in Agbor, Warri, Elele, Ogoja, etc. Among Navy and Air Force formations involved are those located in Enugu, Calabar, Port Harcourt, Owerri, Owerre-Nta, Ogbaru, Oguta, Uyo, Benin and so on.
Their joint involvement in the killings and burnings are majorly perpetrated under “Joint Special Forces”; in addition to ‘lonely operational activities and attendant atrocities’ by the Nigerian Army.
The officers and personnelof the Nigeria Police Force involved are those drawn from the Force Bureau of Intelligence and its IRT (Intelligence Response Teams) and STS (Special Tactical Squads) led by DIG/AIG-FIB; the Force Criminal Investigations Department and the Force Operations Department and their Anti Terrorism, Anti Bunkering, Anti Kidnapping, Anti Cultism, RRS (Rapid Response Squads), SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics Teams) and Anti Robbery Squads-led respectively led by DIG/AIG-FCID and DIG/AIG-OPS. Involved at decentralized levels are the State Police Commands of the affected States and their State Criminal Investigations Departments (SCIDs)-led by CPs and DCPs/ACPs.
The killings and burnings are also coordinated in South-East and South-South by ‘Police Zones 13 (Ukpo), 9 (Umuahia), 5 (Benin) and 6 (Calabar), etc led by an Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) each.
The officers and personnel of the Department of the State Security Service (DSS) are involved particularly in the areas of biased intelligence, unlawful law enforcement operations including arbitrary arrests and detentions, enforced disappearances as well as custodial torture and other inhuman and degrading treatments or punishments.
The DSS has also been severally accused by its freed victims of corruption and other corrupt practices including custodial extortions or commercialization of law enforcement operations and criminal accusations and investigations, etc.
Patterns Used By Security Forces In The Unlawful Killings And Burnings In Igbo Land
Investigated and unmasked are the following seven killer patterns: (1) “out of every 15 citizens accused of being “seriously involved in Biafra Matters”, 14 are innocent; (2) out of every 15 arbitrarily arrested and detained without trial in connection with “Biafra Matters”, 13 are arbitrarily arrested and detained above the law or without trial; (3) out of every 15 persons killed in the open by the military or police crack squads in connection with “Biafra Matters”, 13 are likely to be defenseless and unarmed; (4) out of every 15 tortured/starved to death or in detention in connection with “Biafra Matters”, 15 are likely to be defenseless and unarmed; (5) out of every 15 abducted outside their family knowledge and official records by soldiers in connection with “Biafra Matters”, 14 are not likely to come back alive and; if arrested by DSS and their likes, seven run the high risk of being tortured and killed in custody; (6) out of every 15 arrested by the drafted police crack squads in connection with
“Biafra matters”, six run the risk of not returning to their families alive; (7) out of every 15 houses or homes burned down or destroyed, 15 do not have links with ‘military necessity’.
Passengers Being Forced At Army Roadblocks To Trek For Kilometers In The Day Time
Passengers and other road users at major Federal and State Roads in the South-East region and Igbo parts of Rivers and Delta States are indiscriminately forced out of their journey vehicles by the Northern Muslim dominated and controlled personnel of the Nigerian Military (Army, Navy and Air Force) to trek for more than a kilometer away from their roadblocks. In some cases, if not in many cases, they are ordered to disembark from vehicles conveying them and their luggage to their various destinations and form ‘a refugee camp queue’ stretching more than a kilometer before being ordered back into their vehicles to continue their tortuous journeys. The most tortuous and shocking of it all is being forced to get down from their vehicles even if it is raining or under scorching heat or sun.
These, the tortuous and grisly human rights abusive military personnel do without minding whether the victims are old or ill.
Such victims include infants, pregnant women and medically challenged persons. The soldiers are not interested in carrying out routine security checks but to punish and humiliate the victims; to the extent that after all the occupants have crossed and trekked more than a kilometer-long, the drivers of such vehicles are ordered to pick their worn out passengers and continue their journeys. The above dastardly acts are perpetrated by the torturer-military personnel in the day time particularly along Okigwe-Enugu Federal Road, Okigwe-PortHarcourt Federal Road, Enugu-Ninth Mile-Nsukka Federal Road, Onitsha-Owerri Road and Owerri-Elele Road, etc.
Some passengers using such routes late at night are also at high risk of abduction and permanent disappearance
particularly those seen wearing or holding any shirt or insignia with combined colors bearing black and red or with
rising sun symbols. Soldiers of the 34 Brigade, Obinze have severally been accused in recent months of late night
blockage of Onitsha-Owerri Road at Mgbidi and Owerri-Elele Road axis during which commercial buses loaded with
passengers are flagged down and commanded to offload their passengers and those with tattoos and stylish hair-
cuts or gymnastic body building rounded up and bundled away to unknown destinations; without evidence of
them returning to their families or homes alive. The dastardly acts which have remained unchecked are strongly
believed to have been fueled by the flooding of military formations across the South-East and Igbo parts of Rivers
and Delta States with military personnel and commanders who are from Northern Muslim extraction. Further to
the above is the operational “death code” alleged to have been issued to the drafted military and police chiefs in
Igbo Land by former President Muhammad Buhari of Nigeria when he held sway as “the Commander-in-Chief”.
Security Forces Deadly Clampdowns And Delayed Justice Escalated Agitations In Igbo Land
Several detailed investigations by Intersociety have indicated that the combined negative effects of the deadly
clampdowns by the Nigerian security forces particularly the spy police operatives, the military personnel and the
crack squads of the Nigerian Police Force as well as delayed justice are responsible for escalation of agitations for
self determination in Igbo Land especially from 2015 till date. According to our findings, there are not less than 15
major clampdown operations by security forces against defenseless Igbo citizens and their properties since August
2015. Most of the slain, maimed, abducted, tortured, disappeared, abused and arbitrarily detained victims of the
armed state actors’ violent clampdown operations are unarmed members of the Indigenous People of Biafra
(IPOB) and other defenseless Igbo Easterners. The slain and the injured are in their thousands as well as the
disappeared who are in several hundreds. Thousands were also arbitrarily arrested and hundreds detained without
trial since 2015. The most shocking of it all was that no single judicial conviction has been secured by the
prosecuting authorities of the Federal and State Governments against any of the accused and arbitrarily detained
citizens since 2015.
‘Delayed Justice’ and ‘Nnamdi Kanu’s Rendition of June 2021’ have also been identified as having heightened the
Agitations. It must be noted that following the unlawful ‘extradition of the IPOB Leader, Nnamdi Kanu by the
Buhari’s Government of Nigeria from Kenya to Nigeria on June 26, 2021, court cases were initiated to ascertain the
legality or otherwise of the extradition and on Oct 13, 2022, the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, declared the
rendition illegal and in grave violation of the Nigerian Extradition Act Cap E25, Laws of the Federation 2004 and
relevant Fundamental Human Rights provisions in the 1999 Constitution and Nigeria’s regional and international
Human Rights and Humanitarian Treaty Laws. It was as a result of the above that the Appellate Court consequently
dropped all charges of terrorism leveled against the IPOB Leader by Federal Government of Nigeria. The then
Government of Retired Major General Muhammad Buhari fragrantly disobeyed the Judgment and continued to
keep the IPOB Leader in DSS custody. As if that was not enough, the Nigerian Government magisterially and
whimsically filed appeal against the landmark Judgment of the Court of Appeal at the Supreme Court on Oct 21,
2022 and on May 11, 2023; the Nigerian Supreme Court shockingly adjoined the case to Sept 14, 2023, a period of
As if all of the above were not enough, too, the Nigerian security forces coordinated by the Force Intelligence
Bureau (FIB) of the Nigeria Police Force invaded the country home of the Lead-Counsel to Nnamdi Kanu, Barr
Ifeanyi Ejiofor at Oraifite in Anambra State in the hours of the blue law (12:30am) of July 6, 2021 with intent to
assassinate him. The killer police squad ended up killing his aide and abducting three others as well as burning his
private car to ashes. Deadlier attack was earlier carried out on Dec 2, 2019 in his country home, killing five and
burning down 22 houses including those belonging to him and his ancestral neighbors. The above deadly attacks
were followed by deadly crackdowns and bombardments of places suspected to be ‘ESN camps’ including palaces
of the traditional rulers, school buildings, church compounds, communal compounds, market places, etc. Totality
of the above led to backlashes and confrontational retaliations between security forces and ‘ESN operatives’
during which soldiers of the Nigerian Military targeted and killed thousands of defenseless civilians and burned
down thousands of dwelling houses and other properties as a “collateral revenge” against ESN and turned around
to label the victims as “ESN terrorists”.
The most deadly of the not less than 15 clampdown operations by security forces included the May 29 and 30,
2016 massacre of over 140 unarmed Igbo citizens at Nkpor/Onitsha, Anambra State as well as the Asaba spillover
in Delta State; the Feb 9, 2016 mass killing of 30 unarmed citizens at Ngwa High School in Aba, Abia State; the Sept
12-15, 2017 massacre of 180 unarmed citizens at Umuahia, Isiala-Ngwa, Aba and Ogwe in Abia State; the Jan 20,
2017 pro Trump jubilation killing of 20 unarmed citizens in Port Harcourt (Igweocha); the August 27, 2020 mass
killing of 30 unarmed citizens in Emene, Enugu State; the October 21-Nov 10, 2020 massacre of 110 unarmed
citizens and abduction of over 500 others including over 60 young women in Obigbo, Rivers State; Jan 2021-July
2023 (still ongoing) mass atrocities (mass killings, abductions, disappearances, arbitrary arrests/detentions and
civilian house burnings) including killing of over 1000 defenseless citizens and burning down of thousands of
defenseless houses and properties since Jan 2021 in Imo State under Gov Hope Uzodinma. These are just to
mention but a few.
200 Igbo Communities Being Forced Into Islam By Inducements And Threats Of Violence
The siege and militarization of Igbo Land for purpose of ‘State Jihadism’ and enslavement has also resulted to
Islamic conversion activities or programs using threats of violence and inducements under different colors, shapes
and covers. Field findings by Intersociety and its international partners across Igbo Land showed that several Igbo
Communities that have come under attacks or death threats by Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen and allied others
including (lately) MACABAN Vigilante Group and Asari Dokubo’s Niger Delta Islamic Militants are also being forced
into Islamic conversions using threats of violence and open or disguised inducement packages or programs. The
military and police siege and terror found to be ongoing in over 200 Igbo communities under investigation are also
being forced into pro Islamic culture including ‘Islamic Fulani Nomad sub culture’. All of the above have been the
case since 2016 and heightened since 2021 in 200 Igbo communities including those found in “the South-East
Triangle” (.i.e. Umunneochi, Okigwe, Leru, Lopanta, Uturu, etc). This is to the extent that natives of the affected
Igbo communities of “Trado-Judeo-Christian Faith” by conscience and thought are being coerced into joining Islam
against their will using ‘State instruments and resources’.
The worst affected among the 200 ancestral Igbo communities are those in Benue, Nasarrawa and Kogi which have
constantly come under attacks launched by Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen and other Nigerian Government’s secretly
assembled Jihadists; leading to mass killings and displacements and seizure of their ancestral lands and desecration
of their sacred places of worship and learning; resulting in several of them being forced into Islam against their will
so as to stay alive or avoid being hacked to death. It was also found that Islamic conversion activities or programs
have heightened in the affected Igbo communities across Enugu, Imo, Ebonyi, Anambra and Abia States and their
neighbors; to the extent that such conversion activities or programs have been elevated to “Government
businesses and protocols” in places like Imo and Ebonyi States. The ‘Islamic conversion activities or programs’ in
Igbo Land are further fueled by constant posting of senior military and police officers of Northern and other tribal
Muslim extractions to the South-East and Igbo parts of the South-South as “Army GOCs, Brigade Commanders,
Cantonment Commandants, Artillery/Battalion Commanding Officers and their equivalents in the Air Force and
Navy”; or in the Nigeria Police Force as “Police AIGs, CPs, DCPs, ACPs, CSPs, Area Commanders and DPOs and their
equivalents in the Intelligence and Paramilitary Establishments”. Till today, all the Nigerian Army GOCs posted to
the 82 Division, Enugu since June 2015 had been drawn from Muslims who mostly hailed from the North.
The alleged Buhari Government’s secretly funded land purchases or projects through MACABAN/Jihadist Fulani
Herdsmen and other Islamic leaders and disputations thereto are also part of Islamic conversion programs in Igbo
Land dating back to 2016 which have become objects of the military and police attacks and hostilities against
defenseless Igbo communities and villages under Awgu, Oguta, Ohiafa, Abiriba, Isiukwuato, Lopanta, Leru, Okigwe, Orlu,
Umunneochi, Awka South, Awka North, Nnewi South, Oyi, Anambra East, Anambra West, Anaocha, Umunze, Nando, Aguleri,
Ayamelum, Ogbaru, Ekwusigo, Idemmili South, Ugwuoba, Oji River, Eke, Eha-Amufu, Udi, Ezeagu, Nike, Opi-Nsukka, Uzo-Uwani,
Isiuzo, Udenu, Orumba North, Orumba South, Oshimili North, Oshimili South, Aniocha South, Aniocha North, Ikaa South, Ikaa
North, Ndokwa East, Ndokwa West, Ukwuani, Elele, Ohaji-Egbema, Mbaitoli, Okporo-Orlu, Izombe, Obosa, Assa,Ndegwu,
Orogwe, Amakohia-Ubi, Mbano, Enyiogugu (Mbaise), Abor-Mbaise, Ezinihite-Mbaise, Afikpo, Igbo-Eze North, Igbo-Eze South,
Asa and Ogwe (Ukwa West), Isiala-Ngwa, Nkanu East, Nkanu West, Ohaozara, Ohaukwu, Etche, Omuma, Enugu-Ezike, to
mention but a few.
The Governments in Imo and Abia States allegedly not only coordinate the ‘Buhari’s Islamic conversion programs”,
but also wastefully spend huge public funds to induce or coerce citizens including sponsoring them to Mecca for
hajj. Government’s public outings or functions in Imo and Ebonyi are said to mandatorily include representatives of
Muslims as ‘major stakeholders”. In Afikpo, Ebonyi State, serious inroads have been made to intensify ‘Islamic
conversion programs’ include situating one of the largest Islamic universities in the area. In Lopanta, Leru, Okigwe,
Uturu and Umunneochi, similar activities are going on including coercing Igbo young girls into marrying non Igbo
adult male Muslims. In Lopanta Community, close to half of their Christian maidens are reportedly being married
off to Jihadist Muslims so as to stay alive. In Isi-Uzo, Enugu State, secret Government funds worth hundreds of
millions of naira are channeled into converting Christians to Islam using cash inducements ranging from N3m and
above to each of the converts. Similar cases are encountered in places like Okigwe, Orlu, Eha-Amufu, to mention
but a few.
Selected Victims Of Unlawful Killings By Government-Linked Armed Groups In Igbo Land
In July 2023, the Traditional Ruler of Orsu Obodo in Oguta, Eze Victor Ijioma and the Traditional Prime Minister of
Isiama Mgbede Community in the same Oguta LGA of Imo State were gruesomely killed by suspected Government-
linked armed groups; likewise Eze Ignatius Asor of Obudi Agwa Community in Oguta and his two Palace staffs killed
in Nov 2022. The Traditional Rulers of Ihibinaowerre, HRH Eze Sampson Osunwa and Okwudor, HRH Eze
Anayochukwu Durueburuo in Njaba, Imo State were killed in October 2021. In Enugu State, the Senatorial
Candidate of the Labor Party, Barr Oyibo Chukwu was gruesomely murdered few weeks to the 2023 General Polls.
Few days after the 2023 Polls, the APGA Governorship Aspirant in Enugu State, Mr. Dons Ude was gunned down in
a bush in Udi. In Anambra State, a serving member of the State House of Assembly, Hon Okechukwu Okoye of
Aguta 11 State Constituency, was beheaded six days after his abduction in May 2022. In June 2022, a physically
challenged former Anambra House of Assembly lawmaker, Hon Nelson Achukwu from Nnewi South, was beheaded
months after he was abducted. In Sept 2021, Chief Chike Akunyili, husband of former NAFDAC boss, late Prof Dora
Akunyili, was killed in Anambra State. The 2021 Anambra Labor Party Governorship Candidate, Obiora Agbasimalo
was abducted and killed in Sept 2021; likewise the Labor Party House of Assembly Candidate for Onuimo in Imo
State, Hon Christopher Elehu, who was killed in Dec 2022. The Chairperson of the Ezza North Traditional Rulers in
Ebonyi State, Eze Igbokwe Ewa, was killed in Feb 2023. On July 17, 2022, seven defenseless returning wedding
guests in Imo State; namely: Chigozie Obinwa, Ozioma, Chikere Anyadioha, Ifechi Ekesinachi, Emeka Ekesinachi,
Aboy Ihegboro and Chijindu; all indigenes of Otulu in Oru East Local Government Area of Imo State were shot and
killed in Awomama in neighboring Oru West LGA on July 17, 2022 by the Imo State owned and funded Ebubeagu
Also killed by Ebubeagu and allied Government-linked armed groups were Mba Ifeoma Gloria and Eremezie
Tochukwu Martin killed on January 18, 2023 at Arondizuogu, Imo State. Mr. Tobechi Chigbu was also killed by the
dreaded Government-linked security outfit at Amakohia Flyover in April 2022. Nnaemeka Ugboma; a Customary
Court Judge/Chairperson of the Customary Court in Oguta killed in Ejemekwuru, Oguta, Imo State in February
2023. Mr. Okolie Aloysius, an automobile mechanic was killed at Okporo Orlu in August 2021; likewise Mr.
Jonathan Ugochukwu who was beheaded at Okporo Orlu in August 2022. An Orlu based Lawyer; Darlington
Odume was killed at Amaifeke, Orlu in September 2021. Five persons from the same family were also killed at
Umuebele-Okporo in Orlu, Imo State in June 2022. These are just to mention but a few. While those killed in the
open or captivity by Government-linked armed groups across Igbo Land since 2021 are in thousands, those
abducted and released after ransom payments are in tens of thousands.
Losses Arising from The Killings And Burnings Outside The Law In Igbo Land Since 2021
The losses incurred or suffered since January 2021 in Igbo Land are drawn from three sources: (1) armed state
actors’ atrocities including extortions by deployed military, police and other security agencies at roadblocks and
custodies/lootings, property seizures and losses arising from indiscriminate burning or destruction of defenseless
civilian houses, automobiles, goods and other properties, (2) ransoms and other property thefts and seizures by
various Government-linked armed groups including the Ebubeagu Vigilante Groups, the Simon Ekpa’s Autopilots’
Counterfeit Biafra Self Determination Group and other armed Government-linked Counterfeit Biafra groups (.i.e.
Biafra National Guards); the MACABAN Vigilante Groups, the Asari Dokubo’s Niger Delta Islamic Militants, the
Nigerian Government-linked/protected Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen and other allied Jihadists in Igbo Land; the
Government-linked Private Armies and Political Death Squads; and (3) ransoms, armed robbery and other criminal
proceeds arising from non Government-linked armed and unarmed (cybercriminals) “street criminal entities”
operating across the seven Igbo-controlled States of Anambra, Imo, Enugu, Ebonyi, Abia, Rivers and Delta.
Using Intersociety’s Report Statistics Of 31st July 2023
In Intersociety’s Investigative Report of July 31, 2023, it was generally found that “in three years (July 2020-July
2023), the deployed criminal security forces and other Government extortionist agencies and others seized N2.8
trillion ($3.5b) from Easterners at gunpoint as against N600b ($800m) collected at gunpoint by non State criminal
entities involving: police/military roadblocks N670B, police custodial extortions N200b, ‘crime proceeds’ converted
by police N60B, squandered Govs’ security votes N400b, extortions by militant Government extortionist agencies
N700b, military/police house burnings/lootings N150b, police security to VIPs/Institutions N30b, non-state
ransoms/robberies N400b and other crime proceeds from criminal entities N200b-totaling N2.8 trillion ($3.5b)”.
Seven Igbo-Controlled States Lost N2.1Trillion To Armed State/Armed Non State Entities
In the above Special Report of July 31, 2023, the eleven Eastern States of Edo, Delta, Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi, Imo,
Abia, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and Rivers were captured but under this Report, Igbo Land States of
Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi, Imo and Abia and Igbo dominant States of Delta and Rivers are captured. Other States
with sizeable ancestral Igbo populations such as Benue, Kogi, Nasarrawa, Edo, Cross River, Akwa Ibom and Bayelsa
are not included. Therefore, after research subtractions using our July 31, 2023 statistics, it is likely correct to say
that the seven Igbo controlled States had in the past three years or January 2021 to August 2023 lost the estimated
sum of N2.1 trillion to sundry criminalities perpetrated by armed state criminal entities and armed non-state
criminal entities. The losses are divided into three categories of police/military roadblock extortions N500b, police
and military custodial extortions N150b and N50b arising from police custodial crime proceeds. Others are the
military and police property lootings and house burnings/destructions N140b and N25b arising from police security
to VIPs/Institutions; totaling N865b. The seven States and their general populations also lost an estimated N252b
arising from squandering of Govs’ illicit ‘security votes’ and another N500b arising from extortions by various
Government extortionist agencies. From the angle of Government-linked armed criminal entities and non-
Government-linked armed and non-armed “street criminal entities”, estimated N550b was also lost; out of which
Government-linked armed entities accounted for N350b involving: kidnappings/ransoms N250b and others N100b;
out of which, over 60,000 rich Igbo-Easterners were forced to pay average of N5m each at gunpoint.
6,500 Killed Outside The Law By Security Forces/Armed Groups In Igbo Land Since 2021
Estimated 6500 unarmed and defenseless citizens of Igbo South-East and South-South origins have been gunned
down or hacked to death by armed state and armed non state killer entities in the Igbo States of Anambra, Enugu,
Imo, Ebonyi, Abia and Igbo controlled States of Rivers and Delta.
Their being killed outside the law had taken place since January 2021 and did not include other unlawful killings perpetrated by armed state actors between August 2015 and Dec 2020 as well as the killing of citizens of ancestral Igbo origin in Kogi, Nasarrawa, Benue and Edo States by the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen, the Jihadist Fulani Bandits and other radical religious killing entities like the MACABAN Vigilantes, the Asari Dokubo’s Niger Delta Islamic Militants and allied others. These deaths did not technically and internationally include security personnel and members of the armed non state killing entities such as Government-linked armed groups and the ‘street criminal entities’; generally referred to as “armed state and armed non-state fighting parties or the combatants”. Their exclusions are in line with the laid down rules in international humanitarian and human rights laws and principles which place high premium on protection of the vulnerable or ‘defenseless civilians and properties at risk’. Such international humanitarian principles guiding the management of the interstate and intrastate violent conflicts include “Jus In Belum”, Jus Ad Belum”, “Jus Post Belum”, “Use of Force”, “Proportionality of Force”, “Right to Self Defense”, “Protection and Safety of Defenseless Civilians and Properties in Situations of Violent Conflicts”, “Management of Democratic Free Speeches and Civic
Spaces”, etc. The statistical findings by Intersociety and its international partners above had arisen from various special reports issued by Intersociety since Dec 2015, listed in the Reference section.
The breakdown of the above findings indicates that Government security forces or deployed military personnel, police crack squads and spy police squads accounted for estimated 3000 unlawful deaths including over 1000 killed in Imo State since January 2021 while Government-linked armed groups and non-Government-linked armed.entities took responsibilities for 2,700 and 800 unlawful deaths respectively.
The above further shows that out of the estimated 2,700 unarmed citizens’ death tolls arising from Government-linked armed groups, Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen alone accounted for not less than 600 deaths, Mujahedeen Asari Dokubo’s Niger Delta Islamic Militants 500 deaths, Autopilots’ Counterfeit Biafra Self Determination armed Group 700 deaths and MACABAN Vigilantes and other Government-linked private armies and death squads 1000 deaths.
The ‘Ebubeagu Vigilante Groups’ in Imo and Ebonyi States are found to have jointly partaken in the killing of over 3000 civilians by security forces and 2700 civilians killed by Government-linked armed groups. It must be pointed out that non Government-linked armed street criminal entities’ such as armed robbers and kidnappers have killed at least 800 defenseless citizens since Jan 2021 excluding killings perpetrated by “individual violent criminal persons” such as those arising from domestic violence, cultism, ritualism, burglary, housebreaking, arson and violence in connection with struggles over properties, etc.
The number of unlawful deaths that occurred in the hands of armed Eastern Security Network between Jan and Dec 2021; is in dozens, if not in hundreds mostly associated with “collateral killings” arising from confrontations with the security forces following their ‘war-grade’ clampdowns/crackdowns.
Igbo Land And Its Neighbors Home To Estimated 300 Armed ‘Street Criminal Entities’
There are estimated 300 armed ‘street criminal entities’ and tens of thousands of ‘individual criminal persons’nengaging in sundry “street criminalities” including but not limited to kidnappings, armed robberies, robberies, house-breaking, burglary, larceny (stealing), carjacking, violent and non-violent cybercrimes, trafficking in arms and in persons, vandalism, cultism, ritualism, violence struggles over properties, oil and other solid mineral thefts, violent touting, political thuggery, premeditated homicides, attempted murders, etc.
The estimated 300 “armed street criminal entities” are found to have spread across the South-East States of Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi, Abia and Imo and South-South States of Delta and Rivers. Others including Edo, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Bayelsa, Benue, Kogi and Nasarrawa States with sizeable ancestral Igbo populations are also affected.
The above named States are prone to ‘street criminalities’ or ‘crimes against persons and properties’ as a result of their ‘blue-collar’ subculture.
The estimated 300 armed ‘street criminal entities’ are on average of 30 per State and did not include over 20 Government-linked Armed Groups in Igbo Land killing, maiming, abducting, disappearing, looting, pillaging, plundering, burning or destroying outside the law on the grounds of politics, ethnicity, religion and ransom.
There are also tens of thousands of “individual criminal persons” in Igbo Land who live by being ‘in conflict with criminal laws’ (whether “mala inse” or “mala prohibita”).
The rise and escalation of the 300 armed ‘street criminal entities’ in Igbo Land is generally traced to monumental and chronic governance failures by the Igbo Land Governors
specifically their failure to institutionalize democratic good governance through “Human Security” and its seven dimensions of economic security, political security, personal security, community security, food security, health security and physical security; forcing young citizens into ‘street criminalities’.
Through brazen politicization of insecurity and other unsafe conditions and crude handling styles by the Governors and drafted security agencies, it has become very difficult for physical security practitioners or actors to uproot and contain the armed ‘street
criminal entities’ or checkmate the “individual criminal persons”.
For: International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law
Emeka Umeagbalasi (Criminologist/Lead-Researcher)
Board Chair, International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law
Chidinma Evangeline Udegbunam Esquire
Head, Publicity Department, International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law
Head, Contacts and Mobilization, International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law
For: Ekwenche Research Institute, Chicago, USA
Prof Justin Akujieze (Renowned Physicist)
Board Chairman, Ekwenche Research Institute, USA
Dede Luke Nwannunu
Chairman, Committee on Genocide
Ekwenche Research Institute, USA
For: Global Igbo Leaders Coalition, United Kingdom
Nze Amadiebube Mbama
Coordinator, Global Igbo Leaders Coalition
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Chief John Gregg (American)
Member, Global Igbo Leaders Coalition
Documentary On Military And Police House Burnings In Imo :https://youtu.be/RehqzLpkjeQ