International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law has accused the Nigerian army of unjustly detaining no fewer than 95 persons abducted from Obigbo, Rivers State and Orlu, Imo State in Kaduna Prisons.
The human rights watch also known as Intersociety said the detainees had been denied access to their families and lawyers since their abduction by Nigerian soldiers in October and November 2020.
Intersociety also disclosed the names of the detainees comprising 89 males and six females to include Humphrey Onyii, Kenechukwu Paul, Kacil Ude, Antonio Obi, Oluchi Nwaba, Ben Akachukwu, Mebechukwu Ifeanyi, Ebube Uche, David Akudo, Nnamdi Ndidi, Francis Collins, and Ozioma Anurika (female).
This was contained in a statement issued by Intersociety, which was obtained by SaharaReporters on Thursday.
It was titled, ‘Fresh List Of 95 Obigbo & Orlu Residents Abducted By Soldiers Discovered In Kaduna Prisons, 257 Others Missing’ and jointly signed by the Board Chair, Emeka Umeagbalasi; Head, Civil Liberties and Rule of Law Department, Obianuju Igboeli Esq and Head, Campaign And Publicity Department Chidimma Udegbunam Esq.
The statement read, “It is with the rudest shock and deepest dismay that the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) is informing the whole world about the fresh discovery of 95 abducted Obigbo and Orlu residents including six females and 89 males in Kaduna Prisons and Lock Centers.
“As a matter of fact, the total number of unarmed and defenceless citizens abducted from Obigbo and Orlu located in Rivers and Imo states by soldiers of the Nigerian Army and bundled to different secret military and policing custodies in Kaduna is ‘357’, out of which 95 were in October 2021 discovered in the Kaduna Prisons and Lock Centers.
“The total number discovered was 100 persons and out of same only one whose father has links in the military has regained freedom. Four have died including Citizen Ugochukwu, who died of Asthma, leaving 95 others remaining and presently languishing in the Kaduna Prisons and Lock Centers.
“The discovery of the above followed information obtained from three of the victims interviewed by some local and international human rights activists and lawyers who visited them.
“Till date, the whereabouts of the remaining 257 others held in different parts of the State have remained unknown. Intersociety had in its recent statements, raised alarms stating that unarmed and defenceless Igbo citizens in their multiple hundreds, abducted by soldiers in Obigbo were secretly being held in the Northern part of the country including FCT, Benue, Nasarawa, Niger, Kaduna and Zamfara States and as of date, not less than 400 have been freed and scores killed in custody.”
It further said, “We are therefore raising alarm that the Nigerian Government and its security forces are engaging in grisly and egregious ethnic profiling and cleansing in Igbo Land in particular and Old Eastern Region in general. We are also deeply saddened by the silence, inaction and lukewarm attitudes of political leaders, socio-cultural organizations, Christian and traditional institutions’ leaders; as well as philanthropists and the educated class residing in Igbo Land or outside Nigeria.
“We hereby call on those parents and guardians, relatives and associates who have been searching or looking for their missing loved ones since October/November 2020 in Rivers State and Obigbo in particular and Imo State and Orlu and environs in particular since February 2021 to check the list of the 93 names and unnamed two others and see if they are among the list so as to find ways of getting in touch with them in the Kaduna Prisons and Lock Centers for the purpose of securing their release through administrative or court bails.
“It must be pointed out that most of the 95 located victims of the Army abduction discovered in Kaduna Prisons who are all Igbo citizens of Christian faith were discovered to have been abducted by soldiers of the Nigerian Army during their genocidal invasion of Obigbo area of Rivers State in response to October 2020 country-wide EndSARS protests in the State.
“Contrary to the provisions of the Chapter Four or the Fundamental Human Rights Charter of the 1999 Constitution and the country’s acceded Int’l and Regional Rights Treaty Laws as we as the Access to Criminal Justice Act of 2015, soldiers of the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Police Force have brazenly and arbitrarily resorted to abduction and detention of citizens using fraudulent remand warrants or orders. Sometimes they abduct or arrest citizens and detain them for several months and in the end dump them in Prisons without open court remands or having arraigned them in open courts.”