29th September, 2022
Bruce Fein, the United States-based lawyer of detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has accused Governor Nyesom Wike of conspiring with President Muhammadu Buhari to kill over 3,800 Biafrans.
Fein made the accusation in a criminal complaint filed before the International Criminal Court, in The Hague.
The lawyer in his petition to Karim Khan, Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, said Wike is guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity as defined in Articles 6 and 7 of the Rome Statute by complicity in an ongoing scheme to destroy or persecute Biafrans in Nigeria.
“The accused EZENWO NYESOM WIKE has lent his authority as Governor of Rivers State to assist in genocide and crimes against humanity is elaborated anon. Among other things, WIKE orchestrated the massacre of more than 3800 Biafrans in the Obigbo area of Rivers State in October 2020 as part of an ongoing and widespread and systematic attack by the Fulani- controlled Federal Government of Nigeria, against the Biafran civilian population in the southeast,” part of the petition reported by Sahara Reporters read.
“The magnitude of Fulani atrocities against Biafrans shocks the conscience. WIKE is a prime mover full knowledge of the notorious genocide and crimes against humanity engineered by co-conspirator President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The Biafran genocide escalated with the presidential election of former military dictator and Fulani extremist Muhammadu Buhari in 2015. President Buhari unwittingly blurted out at the United States Institute of Peace on July 25, 2015, that he would represent the interests of the constituencies that voted 97 percent to support him but not his political opponents. Mr. Buhari has more than amply honored his threat by a genocide campaign implicating the accused GOVERNOR WIKE.
“The Nigerian security forces, at present structured along Northern Muslim lines and deployed in Eastern Nigeria had in fourteen months or between late October 2020 and Dec 2021 killed not less than 1,150 defenseless citizens of Eastern Nigeria. All the victims are members of Judeo-Christian Faith and mostly ethnic Igbo citizens. Their killings represent monthly average of 85 deaths and daily average of three and could be monthly average of 155 and daily average of 5.5 deaths if the presumed dead 1000 missing citizens are added.
“The security forces also abducted and disappeared till date in the same past 14 months at least 1000 unarmed civilians; arrested alive and unarmed and taken into security custodies outside the knowledge of their families or lawyers, from where they have gone missing till date.
“Soldiers of the Nigerian Army are found to be responsible for at least 70% of their abduction and disappearances while DSS, NPF, Nigerian Navy and Nigerian Air Force are separately and jointly responsible for the remaining 30%.
“In the area of ‘perpetrator ratio’, soldiers of the Nigerian Army and various ‘special squads’ of the Nigeria Police Force are the lead-killers or perpetrators. The trio of Governors Hope Uzodimma of Imo State, Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State are the most vicariously culpable Governors that aided and abetted the killings and property destruction including burning of civilian homes and sanctuaries.
“On the other hand, the widely believed Nigerian State protected Jihadists especially the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen are responsible for hacking to death in 2021 alone of at least 270 Igbo Christians. Their death had majorly occurred in Ebonyi, Enugu, Anambra, Imo, Abia and Igbo parts of Delta, Edo (Obiaruku and Igbo-Akiri), Benue and Kogi States.
“The killings by Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen have brought the total number of defenseless citizens traceably killed in Eastern Nigeria in the past 14 months to at least 1,400. This is when added to 1,150 defenseless civilian deaths perpetrated by security forces. The Death Toll Could Be 2,400 If 1000 Missing/Presumed Dead Citizens are added. It is therefore likely correct to say that in all, not less than 2,400 unarmed civilians lost their lives to Nigerian security forces and the Jihadists in Eastern Nigeria in the past 14 months-covering October 2020 to December 2021.
“This is on account of the fact that the not less than 1000 missing persons are likely to have been killed in custodies and most unlikely to be returned alive to their families again. This is more so when strong evidence abounds showing no traces of location and securing the release of citizens abducted by soldiers of the Nigerian Army in Eastern Nigeria since January 2021.
“4800 Arrested, 2000 Still Held, 700 Freed, Others Killed Or Disappeared Analytically, estimated 4800 unarmed citizens of Eastern Nigeria have been arrested or abducted by security forces in the past 14 months (since late October 2020), out of the number, 660 were traceably killed in security custodies, about 500 were killed in open shootings mainly carried out by soldiers of the Nigerian Army and personnel of other branches of the Armed Forces-with a clear case in point being dumping of over 100 dead victims of Army’s open shooting of civilians at the Owerri Federal Medical Center.
“Not less than 1000 mainly abducted civilians have disappeared or presumed dead mainly in military custodies. No fewer than 2000 unarmed civilians are still detained without trial and only 700 of the arrested 4800 citizens have regained their freedom in the past 14 months. The freed 700 citizens had included 418 Obigbo abductees and some 300 other civilian citizens arrested by security forces in the East since January 2021.
“Most of them got freed after being forced to offer average of N1m per freed detainee. This was majorly the case in the hands of the Nigeria Police Force especially its “IRT”, “STS”, “CTU”, “Anti Kidnapping”, “SWAT/SARS” and “the Special Forces” comprising the operatives of the Army, Police, DSS, Navy, Air Force, NSCDC, etc.
“The killings by Nigerian security forces had occurred mostly in Igbo-Christian parts of Eastern Nigeria including Imo, Rivers, Abia, Ebonyi, Anambra, Enugu and Akwa Ibom States as well as Delta and Cross River States which recorded the lowest number of deaths. Further breakdown indicates that the Nigerian security forces were specifically responsible for killing of at least 1000 defenseless citizens in the East in 2021 while Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen killed not less than 270 in the same 2021.
“The Nigerian Army had also between October and November 2020 killed not less 150 defenseless civilians in Obigbo (Oyigbo Local Government Area) and its environs in Rivers State implicating the accused GOVERNOR WIKE and abducted over 700 civilians; and out of the number, 418 have been independently located and freed.
“While no fewer than 110 defenseless citizens were killed in Obigbo and its environs, the remaining 40 deaths occurred in different secret Army custodies where the Obigbo abductees were secretly detained amidst torture and starvation. Another 100 abducted defenseless citizens were recently (in late November 2021) traced and discovered to have been dumped at Kaduna Prisons and Lock Centers, out of the number, five died. Over 40 of the over 700 abductees were also found to have been killed in various secret Army custodies.”
The lawyer further asked the Chief Prosecutor to investigate Wike for alleged genocide and crimes against humanity.