RIVERS STATE GOVERNMENT REVISITS ENDSARS CASES, GO AFTER SUSPECTS IN OYIGBO

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In the wake of a new government, both at the State and Federal levels, cases that were left sleeping have been awakened. Files and cases are opened and uncompleted investigations are continued in Lagos, Rivers, and the FCT.

In Rivers State, the global family of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) under the command and leadership of great leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu had complained that nothing has come out of the panel set up to investigate the “Obigbo massacre” since 2020.  

The group recalled that the state Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mukan, had ordered a full investigation into the incidents and the prosecution of the culprits, but to their greatest surprise, all they hear about now is the raiding of suspected IPOB cells in the state.
 
The current Gov SIM Fubara seems to have reawakened the cases against the pro-Biafran group in the name of seeking justice through the continuous search for suspected “perpetrators” of the killing of soldiers, police and innocent civilians. In 2022, his predecessor, Gov Wike started the manhunt for IPOB members in the state and many arrests were made. The State Commissioner of Police, Okon Effiong, said the suspected IPOB members were arrested in Oyigbo on the outskirts of Port Harcourt.

The CP said, “On December 23, 2022, we received information that some IPOB members have started relocating to Rivers State. We had to work on that intelligence and we discovered where they stay in an estate in Oyigbo. The building they stayed in the estate was raided and ten of them were arrested.

“Interestingly, four of them arrested were identified as the key players in the burning down of the Oyigbo Police Station during the #EndSARS riot. And one of them has been on the wanted list of the police since February this year.”

Stanley Mgbere – On Police Wanted list.

The police in 2020 had accused IPOB of being behind the chaos in Oyigbo while operating under the guise of #ENDSARS protests, and the then Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mukan, said, “The command will stop at nothing until the perpetrators of these dastardly acts are arrested and brought to justice.’’ And sometime in October last year, there were reports the army raided the houses of suspected IPOB members and made some arrests.

A Citizens journalist, Emdee David followed up with this development and reached out to some people connected to this incident in 2020. Some of them could not be reached including Nkechinyere Scholastica Chukwuemeka whose story was reported in the media. However, a call to her family member went through and it was confirmed that there was a raid by the police in the Oyigbo community. The family member who pleaded anonymity explained that before this raid, rumour had filtered in that this would happen and that Nkechinyere had fled the country, as many others did to escape the consequence of being wrongly blamed for the killings of soldiers and police.

Nkechinyere Scholastica Chukwuemeka, Wanted by the Nigerian Police

The family member also hinted that Nkechinyere was sent abroad to study for her Masters when it became clear that her life was still in danger. He however did not disclose the country she is now studying. It was also confirmed that men of the Nigerian army had sometime in October 2023 stormed the home of one Mr. Ben Okoronkwo with whom Nkechinyere had lived. They tried to force him to give out her whereabouts, but he refused. In the struggle not to allow him to be taken away, one of the military officers started beating him and then hit his chest with the butt of his gun. Mr. Okoronkwo fell and all efforts to revive him were in vain, as he was later confirmed dead on that same spot.  

Cases like this are what the Nigerian youths are fighting to stop. How many more would have to die for this to stop? The security forces that are meant to protect the citizens are the ones harming them. The people do not feel safe in their land. This is why the likes of Omoyele Sowore, Aisha Yesufu, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and other social and political activists call for a revolution or total restructuring of the Nigerian political system to protect and respect every citizen’s human rights.

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