Amnesty asks FG to investigate killing of ’60 Biafra protesters’

Amnesty International, a human rights group, has asked the federal government to investigate the killing of “over 60 Biafra protesters” in 2016.

In a statement on Saturday, Osai Ojigho, country director of the organisation, accused the military of being behind the killings.

Ojigho said the protesters, who were commemorating Biafra Day, were shot dead by soldiers at Nkpor community in Anambra state.

“Victims of the bloody killing in Nkpor, Anambra state, in which over 60 pro Biafra protesters were killed and at least 100 were injured by Nigerian security forces on 30 May 2016 are still awaiting justice four years on,” she said.

“Families and relatives of the victims of the 2016 massacre have been waiting and again ask the Nigerian government to ensure that those suspected of criminal responsibility of the killings are brought to trial, and that the victims and their families receive reparations, including adequate compensation.

“The tragedy of the Nkpor killing is compounded by the shocking fact that no one suspected to be responsible for the bloodshed has yet been held accountable. If the Nigerian government wants to demonstrate that it is committed to truth and human rights, it needs to ensure that the wheels of justice start turning far faster than they have done over the past four years.

“Despite overwhelming evidence that members of the Nigerian security forces fired live ammunition to disperse pro-Biafra gatherings, no person suspected of criminal responsibility has been brought to justice.”

She said the military promised to investigate the killings but it is yet to release a report of a commission of inquiry it set up in 2017.

Ojigho said a similar pattern of lack of accountability for gross violations by security forces has been documented in other parts of the country, including the north-east, in the context of operations against Boko Haram.

“Amnesty International has repeatedly called on the government of Nigeria to initiate independent investigations into allegations of crimes under international law,” she said.

“President Muhammadu Buhari has repeatedly promised that these would be investigated. However, no progress has been made.”

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