The leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety) is still deeply shocked and alarmed concerning the continued detention under solitary or incommunicado circumstances of key IPOB activists in Aba, Abia State and other parts of the South-south and the Southeast Nigeria.
To the extent that the authorities of the DSS now go about riotously, abducting, shooting, torturing and detaining IPOB activists outside processes and procedures laid down in the 1999 Constitution; further shocks and worries us.
We had two days, 26th of August 2016, raised alarm concerning the renewed violent crackdown by DSS and ors against IPOB activists and other Pro Biafran activists and supporters across the country particularly in the Southeast and the South-south parts of Nigeria.
We had in our last statement under reference recalled that Citizen Chidiebere Onwudiwe, who is Nigeria’s National Coordinator of IPOB and a trained Mechanical Engineer with lawful means of livelihood, is still in solitary detention without trial after 64 days of his late night arrest by the authorities of DSS in Rivers State.
Engineer Chidiebere Onwudiwe was trailed and traced to his residence near Port Harcourt in the evening of 22nd June 2016; after which his residence was violently attacked about seven hours later, leading to his violent arrest and incarceration till date. He was also arrested in his sleep and till date, he has not been put on trial in any court in Nigeria.
We recall further that the authorities of the DSS also trailed and traced Citizen Justice O. Udeh (an official of IPOB in Aba, Abia State) to a place he had gone to pass a night and violently arrested him in his sleep.
The raid took place in the late night of 13th of July 2016 near Port Harcourt in Rivers State. Since his violent arrest; a period of 43 days today, he is neither released nor put on trial.
Again, the ordeal of Citizen Sunday Chukwuka Obasi during his violent arrest is the crudest and most shocking of it all.
He is the Nnewi-Ichi Coordinator of IPOB.
He was trailed by the DSS from Port Harcourt where he had gone on a trip and in the late night of 16th of August 2016, his residence at Amuko-Nnewi was violently attacked while he was sleeping.
It was in the process that the DSS operatives that came on a marked Government vehicle opened fire on him and shattered his two legs before he was whisked away.
It has been technically established that the DSS operatives that stormed his residence must have been composed of Rivers and Anambra States Directorates.
Till date, the condition of his gunshot wounds has not been ascertained and he has remained in DSS custody without trial.
Amnesty International, based in UK, has already raised an international advocacy alarm and launched an “urgent action appeal” on his behalf.
The latest of the DSS violent crackdown on unarmed and nonviolent IPOB activists particularly in the Southeast and South-south was violent and riotous attack on 12 passengers that boarded a commercial Hummer Bus belonging to FG Onyenwe & Co in the morning of Thursday, 26th of August 2016 at about 7am.
The attack by the authorities of DSS, Abia State Directorate, also involved Army and Police operating under the “Abia State Joint Security Taskforce”.
The commercial bus was returning from Gwagwalada-Abuja via night route when it was violently attacked and impounded at about 7am at Ugba Junction near Aba in Abia State.
The Bus was obviously trailed from its point of departure and had on board a DSS informant as one of its passengers.
The trailing must have started from the Kuje Prison where the arrested IPOB activists went to visit IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu (POC).
The operation must have also resulted from intelligence sharing between the FCT and Abia State DSS authorities, who alerted other law enforcement agencies in Abia State.
Further updates gathered from our investigation show that the Bus had on board a total of 12 passengers including the driver, four married women (including a heavily pregnant woman) and seven men including a suspected DSS informant, a Hausa indigene and five arrested IPOB activists.
The names of five arrested IPOB activists are Citizens Ikechukwu Ugwuoha (Abia State Coordinator of IPOB), Asochukwu Ugochukwu, Sunday J. Okafor, Ekene Onuoha and Joseph Okorie (Ogbuawa); among them were those released from Aba Prisons on 11th of August 2016 following the directive of the Attorney General of the Federation that charges against them and other Pro Biafra activists in Nigeria should be dropped.
They were remanded in prison custody since February 2016 after they were spuriously charged.
The Nigerian Army and ors had on 9th of February 2016 massacred 22 of their members at a prayer procession held at the Premises of the National High School at Aba.
After the impoundment of their Bus at Ugba Junction near Aba in the morning of 26th of August 2016, leading to their torture and confiscation and seizure of their mobile phones; they were taken to the Ngwa High School temporary headquarters of the 144 Battalion of Nigerian Army, Aba where they were held and tortured for over three hours (7.30am to 11am).