BIAFRA: THE INVESTIGATION OF THE EXTRA JUDICIAL KILLING OF BIAFRANS BY THE NIGERIA ARMY IS A CHARADE
By Chima Onyekachi | Writes for TBP
March 10, 2017
Gen. Burutai Tukur’s handiwork
It is hypocritical that the Nigeria Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt. General Tukur Burutai has finally decided to investigate the extra judicial killing of innocent Biafrans and members of the Shiite Islamic movement. The move by Tukur Burutai was due to intense pressure from foreign governments and international human rights organization. Recall, Amnesty International, has indicted the Nigeria Army for extra judicial killings and violence against the Indigenous People of Biafra in several peaceful demonstrations. The international human rights watchdog backed up its reports on the extra judicial killings and violence against the people of Biafra with numerous verifiable evidence of videos and pictures.
The Nigeria Army were quick to refute the reports from Amnesty International, without countering the picture and video evidences which showed soldiers shooting live ammunition at unarmed and defenseless Biafrans who were exercising their right to peaceful assembly. With overwhelming evidence staring at their faces, the Nigeria government were quick to consult their colonial master, the British government, which gave its maximum support to the “territorial integrity of Nigeria”, a hoax to continue to lift the crude oil and other resources found mainly in Biafra Land.
The truth of the matter is that Tukur Burutai was compelled by the British government to constitute a panel to investigate the extra judicial killings and violence against Biafrans as a smoke screen to deceive members of the international community who are beginning to question the atrocities by the Nigeria Army on innocent Biafrans. The peaceful and diplomatic process undertaken by IPOB has exposed the Nigeria Army as barbaric and murderous, and they have continued to force Biafrans into a retaliation by constantly killing, arresting and harassing them unabatedly.
Tukur Burutai revealed his insincerity when he hurriedly arranged a so-called panel of investigation made up of only officers’ from Hausa/Fulani extraction when it is certain that the soldiers who perpetrated the crime against humanity were from the same region. Tukur Burutai had ordered his men to shoot at hundreds of defenseless Shiite Muslims in Kaduna state, he also ordered for the use of Rules of Engagement (ROE) against thousands of peaceful Biafrans in a non-war situation. It is inexcusable that the Nigeria Army led by Tukur Burutai, will claim his men acted within the albeit of ROE, which is a product of the Geneva Convention of 1949. The Geneva Convention is a code of conduct that governs war and does not in any way concern protest or procession as practiced by IPOB. It is very obvious that the Nigeria Army is engaging in a war against defenseless and innocent Biafrans thereby committing crime against humanity and Tukur Burutai must be held to account for his role in the atrocities.
In a sane society, the military or soldiers have no business going into a civil protest or procession, it is the responsibility of the police, why is the case of Nigeria different? It is obvious that the Nigeria government led by President Muhammadu Buhari has no respect for the lives of innocent citizens whom are merely demanding to exercise their right to self-determination as stipulated in the UN charter on Human Right. I want to remind the Nigeria Army of the 3rd commandment in the ten commandment of the International law, which states as thus: “Forbids any member state from using force to control or police ‘unlawful’ but non-violent assemblies” the law also states “if in policing or dispersing a violent assembly, you must use minimal force.”
The Nigeria soldiers shot at close range, heart region, neck region, forehead, abdomen, waist, as was seen on most victims of the extra judicial killings which shows that it was no longer minimal use of force. Evidence abound that the soldiers were shooting at unarmed Biafran protesters with the intention to kill and not to disperse. The Nigeria Army lied its men acted in self-defence but they must know you cannot apply self-defence in isolation. The procession of Biafrans were never armed but were in possessions of flags and Bibles while singing and dancing but the Nigeria soldiers in acrobatic manner and position began to shot live ammunition at them, killing and injuring thousands.
I am totally in support of those against the kangaroo 8-man committee constituted by Lt General Burutaii. Amnesty International has recommended that any inquiry into human rights violations by the Nigeria Army should be independent of the military, impartial and thorough, and its findings made public. It also added, “All members of the military suspected of criminal responsibility, including for crimes under international law, should be brought to justice in fair trials before civilian courts without recourse to the death penalty.”
While INTERSOCIETY through its board chairman, Emeka Umeagbalasi, spoke as thus “Any so called special investigation panel set up by the Nigeria Army is manifestly a kangaroo and totally rejected. As a matter of fact, the Nigeria Army should be barred from meddling into investigation associated with same except its right to be heard. There shall be proper criminal investigation and punitive measures against Burutai and Company followed by an unbiased and balanced Special Judicial Commission of Enquiry set up by the Government of Nigeria for the purpose of victims remedies or compensatory justice and serious administrative reprimands.”
I suggest Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Burutai should get ready his team of defense counsel because this generation of Biafrans will not allow any killers of Biafra to go scot free anymore. Tukur Burutai went a step further by threatening to crush the people of Biafra if they continue to clamor for the restoration of Biafra. I want to say these to the likes of Brurutai that gone are the days when men who committed genocide against the people of Biafra will be allowed to roam about freely instead of been in prison for their crimes against humanity. Everyone who has participated in the killing of innocent Biafrans will be brought to justice someday no matter how long it will take.
Editor/Publisher: Chinwe Korie
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