Group threatens showdown with police over torture, killing of pro-Biafra agitators
By Solomon Mokwugwo
An Igbo Socio -Cultural Organisation, Igbonine Kwezenu, has threatened to drag the Nigeria police to the International Court of Justice, over what it described as constant killing of Igbo youths, who were clamouring for an independent Biafra Republic; as well as having majority of the youths in the wanted list of the police for no just course.
This was contained in a statement signed by the national coordinator and national secretary of the group; Nelson Udeh and Philemon Madu; respectively, which was also made available to Newsmen in Nnewi, yesterday.
The statement reads in part: “The contemplation to have showdown with the Nigerian police or, on the alternative, drag them to the International Court of Justice, came to us following series of confrontations the police were having with Igbo youths, under the auspices of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB, and the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, when a good number of the agitators lost their lives.
“Just recently, a joint task force confronted IPOB members having their peaceful meeting at Enugu. That confrontation led loss of lives. This is just one of such incidences happening over and over again.
“One of such painful incidences happened sometime in 2014, when group of Igbo youths, who were members of MASSOB, having their peaceful meeting at Nkutaku area of Okpoko, a swampy area of Ogbaru LGA, Anambra State, were invaded by security operatives, and were teargassed, manhandled, and some lost their lives after sustaining bullet wounds.
“Leader of the youths, one Mr. Lotanna Charles Muoka, a vibrant youth activist, who was a strong advocate of Igbo emancipation, was declared wanted as a result of the Okpoko incident of 2014.”
When our reporter contacted police authorities at the Okpoko Division over the alleged 2014 incident in, they refused to comment on the matter; but sources within the division said the matter was an old one that could hardly be found in their record.
Contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Haruna Mohammed, said the information was an old one; but promised to find out.
“It won’t be out of place for the police to declare IPOB or MASSOB member wanted; as might be the case in the alleged 2014 incident, purportedly involving the so-called Lotanna Charles Muoka; since MASSOB and IPOB are proscribed by the federal government, and the proscription is still in force.”