Introduction: This Special Report (Welcome to Bleeding Republic of Nigeria: A Land Flowing with Blood and Tears) is a compilation of widespread human rights abuses in Nigeria in the past 20 months of the four-year tenure of the central Government of Retired Major Gen Muhammadu Buhari; covering 1st June 2015 to 31st January 2017. The Report is majorly focused on Civil and Political Rights; which is one of the four internationally existing generations of human rights. These fundamental liberties include citizens’ constitutional and legal rights as well as regional and international rights provided in Sections 33-46 of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution and several regional and international legal and rights instruments or treaties accepted and assented to by the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The Civil and Political Rights are also regarded by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 amended in 2011 as living rights or justiciable; which legally and constitutionally means that they are governmentally observable, protectable and enforceable, and can be compensated in the event of their breaches. This is by virtue of Section 46 of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution. Those holding judicial, executive and legislative offices in Nigeria are also mandatorily required in Section 13 of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution to conform to, observe and apply these constitutional liberties in discharge of their constitutional duties.
President M. Buhari’s military background and his grossly poor human rights antecedents including 20 months of his maximum military rulership (January 1984-August 1985) was critically assessed and compared with past 20 months of his present civilian Presidency in Nigeria.
Research Methodology: This Special Report was compiled by the Research Team of International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law headed by Emeka Umeagbalasi-a Criminologist & Graduate of Security Studies with post graduate expertise in Peace & Conflict Studies. It was largely built on previous reports on security and human rights issues in Nigeria; issued by respected international rights organizations and research institutions such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ), the Global Terrorism Index of the Institute for Economics and Peace; and the (Christian) Open Doors International, among others. Those reports were technically aggregated, congregated, studied and updated in this Special Report.
The Special Report was further built on previous publications of Intersociety and credible media reports on the subject matter by leading local and international print and web media. Intersociety also gathered reliable data and information from leading victim-groups such as IPOB, Shiite Muslim sect and the authorities of the ECWA Church and the Catholic Archdiocese of Kafanchan in Kaduna, etc. Data gathered were independently verified.
We also conducted series of interviews with accompanied legal certifications from members of some dead victims’ families and the shot and wounded victims or survivors. All the photos used in the photo segment of this Report were carefully verified and traced to the crime victims, crime scenes and crime perpetrators. In all, it is a hybrid based Special Report.
Various citizens’ constitutional and legal rights and safeguards in Nigeria as well as their regional and international counterparts which the Federal Republic of Nigeria willingly assented to and accepted to be bound by, were also studied and applied in the course of this Special Report. Pieces of useful information from security establishments and other agencies of the Government of Nigeria available at open sources were considered as well.
Executive Summary: Welcome To Bleeding Republic of Nigeria: A Land Flowing With Blood & Tears; is a compilation of the State of Widespread Rights Abuses covering the past 20 months of the central civilian Government of Retired Major Gen Muhammadu Buhari or from 1st June 2015 to 31st January 2017. The present central Government of Nigeria headed by Retired Major Gen Muhammadu Buhari was elected and sworn in on 29th May 2015 for a four-year term (May 29th 2015-May 29th 2019).
The Special Report is saddening but unique in that it found that regime atrocities, abuse of office and gross contempt for constitutionalism and human rights principles; which were widespread in 20 months of Major Gen Muhammadu Buhari (as he then was) military’s inglorious epoch or from January 1984-August 1985; have also become widespread in the past 20 months of his current civilian Presidency or from 1st June 2015- 31st January 2017.
Of the existing four generations of human rights locally and internationally, the civil and political rights; constitutionally tagged living rights or justiciable are the worst violated by the current civilian Presidency of Muhammadu Buhari. Our Report, which is divided into text and photo segments, empirically found that average of 550 defenceless and unarmed citizens were slaughtered, butchered or shot dead in each of the past 20 months of the Buhari’s civilian Presidency covering June 2015 to January 2017.
A total of over 11,000 criminal or unlawful deaths were also recorded in the said past 20 months. This is the highest in the history of democratic Nigeria; particularly under a non war situation. The most shocking part of it is that the central Government of Retired Major Gen Muhammadu Buhari and its security agencies particularly the Army, Police and Air Force are collectively responsible for about 52% or over 5700 while the Nomad Fulani and the Boko Haram terrorists accounted for the remaining 48% or over 5300 others.
Over 2000 Christian lives were also lost to Nomad Fulani Jihadists in Nigeria in 2016 alone, with at least 850 killed in Southern Kaduna while over 1200 others took place in Benue, Enugu, Taraba, Nasarawa and Plateau States, etc. Over 800 criminal deaths associated with killing of Christians took place in the last six months of 2015. Even the Buhari Administration through its National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and its Kaduna State counterpart-SEMA, had on their part, claimed that 376 persons were killed in Southern Kaduna between May and December 2016. They also labelled the killing of Christians by untouchable Nomad Fulani Jihadists as “communal clashes”.
In January 2017 alone, over 350 defenceless citizens lost their lives to wilful air bombing by the Nigerian Air Force, Pro Trump Rally killing by Nigerian Army and Nomad Fulani and Boko Haram Jihadism. The Buhari Administration’s warped report with mangled figures on Southern Kaduna Christian butcheries is contained here: http://www.dailytrust.com.ng/news/general/376-killed-in-southern-kaduna-in-6-months-report/183924.html.
Through custodial killings arising from torture and wilful custodial shootings, not less than 4000 criminal deaths may most likely have been recorded in the hands of Police SARS, SCIDs and the Army across the country in the said past 20 months; on average of 200 per month or six per State monthly. A clear case of custodial killings in Nigeria was the Ezu River saga of 19th January 2013 in Anambra State of Nigeria where between 30 and 40 lifeless bodies strongly believed to be victims of Anambra State Police SARS extra judicial executions were found floating in Ezu River.
Another newest case is contained in the recent Amnesty International Special Report for 2016/7 in which it found that “not less than 240 civilians including 29 children and babies, aged between new born and five years, died in 2016 in the Nigerian Army detention custody at the Giwa Military Barracks in Maiduguri, Borno State and were secretly buried in Maiduguri’s cemetery by the Borno State Environmental Protection Agency staff”. Reference:http://sunnewsonline.com/29-children-211-others-die-in-military-cells-in-nigeria-amnesty/
Yet another case in point was the recent arrest of six operatives of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Anambra State Police Command at Awkuzu: namely- Adolphosus Dimgba, Gabriel Imafidon, Chukwudili Oyenka, Pat Amadike, Usman Bala Hamza, Theodore Igiede and Amechi Ebere Okonkwo. The torture and murder culprits were arrested on IGP’s order for torture and murder in custody of Citizen Ejike Bob-Manuel on 16th February 2016. The deceased was arrested, detained, tortured and murdered in captivity following a business dispute with the mastermind, Mr. Jerome Aghachukwu; leading to a petition written to Nigeria Police Headquarters by the Joint Legal Action Aids (JLAA) led by Barr Kingsley Ughe.
The Nigerian Army, the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigerian Air Force and their chiefs and commander-in-chief; on the other hand, are collectively, vicariously and individually responsible for the State murder of at least 1750 unarmed and defenceless citizens between 30th August 2015 and 31st January 2017 including the Rann IDP bombing by the Nigerian Air Force that killed at least 236 defenceless citizens on 17th January 2017. These State killings did not include 240 persons including 29 children and babies that died in the custody of the Nigerian Army in 2016 in Borno State, as exclusively reported by Amnesty International. When added, the number of State murders under the Buhari Administration in the said past 20 months will be 1990 deaths.
Other documented State murders contained in this Special Report are the mass killing of 1120 defenceless Shiite Muslims and massacre of at least 270 unarmed Pro Biafra Campaigners in the periods between August 2015 and January 2017 including 15-20 unarmed citizens or more killed at the Pro Trump Solidarity Rally on 20th January 2017. Over 870 members and supporters of IPOB and Shiite Muslim sect were also terminally shot and wounded by Nigerian security forces in the said past 20 months.
Three genocides (i.e. mass killing in droves of unarmed and defenceless members of a particular ethnic or religious group whether in war or non war situations) and two war crimes have also been recorded in the past 20 months of the Buhari Government or between June 2015 and January 2017. They are Shiite Muslim Procession Genocide, Pro Biafra Campaign Genocide and Southern Kaduna Christian Genocide; as well as two war crimes involving the Rann IDP Bombing and the Maiduguri Giwa Military Barracks Custody Killing of 240 Civilians (including 29 children and babies).
The number of citizens arrested and dumped into several months of detention without trial in the past 20 months of the Buhari’s Government is also alarming and shocking. The authorities of SSS are substantially responsible for this aspect of gross abuse of the citizens’ constitutional and legal rights; likewise muzzling of press freedoms and democratic free speeches and reckless disobedience to court orders and other judicial pronouncements. Incidences of harassment and intimidation of independent journalists and bloggers have also gone viral in the past 20 months of the Buhari Government in Nigeria. In all, the state of human rights violations under the Buhari civilian Government is horribly and alarmingly widespread.
1. International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law (Intersociety), is calling on the central civilian Government of Retired Major Gen Muhammadu Buhari/Federal Government of Nigeria to end the senseless and wicked massacre by both security forces and armed opposition groups particularly the Nomad Fulani and Boko Haram Jihadists of unarmed and defenceless citizens individually and massively, as well as other forms of regime atrocities that had pervaded the Buhari Administration in the past 20 months. There should also be total policy reversal including unconditional release of all political detainees and end to policy of militarism and militarization.
2. The Buhari Administration/Federal Government of Nigeria should set aside $5Bliion for adequate compensation of over 1750 victims of State murders and 4000 victims of Police SARS/Army custodial killings as well as not less than 2800 unarmed Christians killed by Nomad Fulani Jihadists between June 2015 and January 2017.
The $5Billion State Crime Victims Compensation Scheme, which will be subject to 50% upward review every five years if unpaid; should be divided into four categories of: $1Billion to members or families and group-victims (IPOB) of over 270 slain members of IPOB and other Pro Biafra Campaigners; $500Million to over 370 terminally shot and injured Pro Biafra Campaigners; $1.5Billion to 1120 slain members of the Shiite Muslims and their IMN as well as $500Million for 400 of their members terminally shot and wounded.
The sum of $500Million should be set aside by the Buhari Government/Federal Government of Nigeria through its Ministry of Police Affairs for compensation of 4000 victims who may most likely have been slain in the past 20 months, by way of custodial killings arising from torture and wilful custodial shootings. This should be done on the basis of proper identification of dead victims by their immediate families and lawyers. The remaining $1Billion should be paid by the Buhari Government to the families and the churches of over 2800 dead Christians who are victims of the Nomad Fulani Jihadism in Nigeria since June 2015.
This is on account of the Buhari Government’s vicarious culpability, by way of aiding and abetting. As the national grand patron of “the Miyatti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria”, President Muhammadu Buhari appeared to have allowed personal sentiments to becloud his official position as the father of the country and protector of every citizen irrespective of his or her ethno-religious and age background or identity. Till date, no investigations into the killing of Christians have been carried out and concluded and the perpetrators are still on the prowl.
3. The Buhari Government/Federal Government of Nigeria must arrest and prosecute all the perpetrators of the above mentioned heinous crimes perpetrated between June 2015 and January 2017. Those to be arrested and prosecuted include the current Army Chief of Staff, the former IGP of Police (August 2015-May 2016), the current IGP of Police, the Chief of Air Staff, the Chief of Defence Staff, the GOC 82nd Division of the Nigerian Army, Enugu (from August 2015 to May 2016); the Commanders of 302 Artillery Regiment, Onitsha, 144 Battalion of the Nigerian Army, Aba (August 2015 to May 2016 or till date) and current Commander of the 6th Division of the Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt; as well as Major M.I. Ibrahim of the Nigerian Military Police, who militarily led the May 29th and 30th Biafra Heroes Day massacre in Nkpor, Onitsha and Asaba.
Others are Commissioners of Police of Anambra and Abia States (August 2015 to May 2016), the Aba Area Commander (between January and February 2016), the Deputy Commissioner of Police for Operations in Anambra State between December 2015 to May 2016 (now CP Johnson Babatunde Kokomo), etc; as well as the present Governors of Anambra, Abia and Kaduna States(for aiding the State security agencies and criminal entities in the mass killing of unarmed and innocent Pro Biafra Campaigners and Christian/Shiite faithful; respectively in their States).
The principal officers of the “Miyatti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria” should be arrested and charged for manslaughter as well as immediate proscription of the registered organization and presidential declaration of same as a terrorist organization. Where the Buhari Government/Federal Government of Nigeria fails in 90 days to bring to justice the above mentioned public office holders and their sub commanders and foot perpetrators, as well as named non State actor perpetrators; then the international community and other international non State actors particularly the ICC, the UN Security Council and African regional criminal courts, etc should act without further delays in accordance with the International Law’s Principles of Complementarity and No Impunity.
These can be done through establishment of the UN Special Criminal Court for Nigeria or through ICC or African Special Criminal Court for Nigeria or foreign countries’ municipal courts with international criminal and civil jurisdictions. Those covered by local constitutional immunities by virtue of their present political offices such as the perpetrator-President of Nigeria and the three named serving Governors should be internationally investigated and prosecuted for genocide or war crimes or crimes against humanity or community of same.
4. The UK and other members of the European Union; the USA, Russia, Canada, Japan, China, Brazil and India should raise a serious concern about gross or widespread rights abuses in Nigeria particularly the mass killing of unarmed and defenceless civilians by the Government of Retired Major Gen Muhammadu Buhari and its security forces as well as aiding and abetting of the mass killing of Christians and perpetration of other forms of regime atrocities.
Beyond raising serious diplomatic concerns, the leaders of the countries under reference should also consider placing travelling ban on those named serving public office holders including the immediate past Inspector General of Police as well as other serving political appointees who are complicit. Placing embargo on supply of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALWs) used by the Buhari Government to perpetrate the widespread rights abuses and other regime atrocities should also be seriously considered by leaders of the named countries; likewise tying the release of $672mIllion recently pledged at Oslo Summit for humanitarian assistance in the insurgency infested Northeast to mandatory arrest and prosecution of all those mentioned. The redemption of the humanitarian pledge by world leaders to the Government of Nigeria must also be tied to the payment of $5Billion compensations by Government of Nigeria to immediate families and associates of the State and its surrogates’ crime victims under reference.
5. The Government of Muhammadu Buhari/Federal Government of Nigeria should re-organize and restructure Nigeria’s security establishments and their headships and revert to the constitutional geopolitical equity and fairness in accordance with Section 14 (3) of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution. To this effect, there shall be mass sack of the present heads and strategic commanding officers of the Nigerian Armed Forces including the Army, SSS and the Police so as to rid them of their present gross lopsidedness and northern Muslim grips and dominations; which have brought about the present grossly lopsided citizens’ policing representation and protection along divisive ethno-religious lines.
For: International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety)
Emeka Umeagbalasi (Criminologist & Graduate of Security Studies)
Mobile Line: +2348174090052