We the Igbo Ekunie Initiative, IEI, comprising of individuals in Nigeria and the Diaspora; are shocked beyond belief at the indiscriminate killing of unarmed pro-Biafran protesters in Onitsha at a scale that clearly and unequivocally constitute crimes against humanity. Amongst the most fundamental freedoms of mankind are the freedoms of expression and of peaceful protests more so in a democracy where such freedoms are supposed to be the defining essence of society and government. It is therefore not only morally repugnant but utterly abhorrent that the security services on the under “change” President Buhari, IGP Arase and COAS Buratai Tukur chose to indulge in a mindless attack on our collective humanity by so brazenly killing peaceful protesters who were exercising their inalienable and constitutional rights to freedom of expression and of peaceful protests.
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 some of whom have been identified as Miss Anthonia Nkiruka Ikeayionwu, Miss Felicia Egwuatu, Kenneth Ogadinma, Chima Onus, Angus Chikwado and many others yet to be identified just because they were engaging in peaceful protests. Such callous and criminal acts should be a shock to the conscience of the nation and a reminder that President 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.
This dastardly assault on peaceful protesters violates the African charter on human rights, the United Nations charter on people’s rights and all international treaties and conventions to which Nigeria is signatory. We therefore accordingly call for the prosecution of all the officers and security personnel implicated in this heinous mass slaughter of innocent civilians. We also use this opportunity to notify the United Nations, European Union, Commonwealth nations, African Union, Amnesty International, Greenpeace, Human rights watch and other rights organisations of ongoing human rights violations under President Buhari, IGP Arase, COAS Tukur Buratai, and other security officers.
Indeed, the notoriety of Nigeria’s security services as it concerns extra-judicial executions and other human rights violations is already well known and documented being the reason for which the “Leahy act” which banned the sale of weapons to Nigerian security services was enacted by the United States government. All other rights respecting nations have likewise banned the sale of weapons to Nigerian security services for the same reasons. We make bold therefore to state that the Onitsha massacre is only a continuation and confirmation of a long and notorious record of human rights violations that the Nigerian security services already stands globally indicted for. We hereby serve notice that pursuant to the charter and articles of the International Criminal Court (ICC) as it concerns crimes against humanity, we shall be lodging a formal complaint against President Muhammadu Buhari, IGP Solomon Arase and COAS Tukur Buratai in the first instance in the International Criminal Court (ICC).
We shall also be pursuing other legal channels which include individually suing the indicted officials in the European Court of Human Rights to open channels for their arrest and prosecution whenever such officials visit any country in the EU. In closing, we warn that from now henceforth any killing of innocent protesters will be additionally lodged with the International Court of Justice as we build our case against those who continue to engage in such heinous crimes against all civilised norms in the 21st century.
Maazi Tochukwu Ezeoke- President Igbo Ekunie Imitative
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Lawrence Nwobu- Secretary Igbo Ekunie Imitative