LAGOS: A COALITION of Nigerian human rights groups has called for the prosecution of alleged perpetrators of the alleged killing of unarmed pro-Biafran protesters in Onitsha recently.

The grouping, under the auspices of the Igbo Ekunie Imitative (IEI), comprising of individuals in Nigeria and the Diaspora, said the alleged killings at the commercial, educational and religious centre in Anambra State were “shocking beyond belief.”

IEI, at a date it did not announce, said it would lodge a formal complaint against President Muhammadu Buhari, Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, and Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, in the first instance in the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The alleged violations in Biafra, Maazi Tochukwu Ezeoke, IEI President, said, unequivocally constituted crimes against humanity. “For the avoidance of doubt, no excuse or circumstance can justify the cowardly, barbaric, morally obscene and criminally culpable indiscriminate massacre of women and young men,” said Ezeoke.

“Such callous and criminal acts should be a shock to the conscience of the nation and a reminder that President (Muhammadu) Buhari and his security chiefs are gradually and surely dragging the nation back to the dark days of tyranny and despicable human rights violations that characterised erstwhile malevolent military regimes.”

Ezeoke said they were notifying the United Nations, European Union, Commonwealth, African Union, and rights organisations of ongoing human rights violations amid the protests. The IEI leader said the alleged assault on peaceful protesters violated the African Charter on Human Rights, the United Nations Charter on People’s Rights and all international treaties and conventions to which Nigeria was signatory.

“We therefore accordingly call for the prosecution of all the officers and security personnel implicated in this heinous mass slaughter of innocent civilians,” said Ezeoke. Protests demanding the independence of Biafra have turned violent in recent weeks.

SOURCE: CAJ NEWS AGENCY

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