Witness: Dr. E.C. Okoye
Figure: 1,000 (Sept)
Grounds for credibility: Witness got this figure from a policeman who had opportunity of going round the town. This was up to 30th September.
Witness: Mrs. A.N. Ishie
Figure: 67 (May)
Grounds for credibility: Ward servant told witness 67 bodies were buried in two graves from the hospital mortuary. Bodies not brought into mortuary or buried by relatives were not included.
June Disturbances in Zaria – Mrs. Venn searching for the corpse other husband in the mortuary on 31/6/66 saw over 100 bodies in and around the place. Mrs. Ishie a nursing sister in the hospital was told by an attendant that 67 unclaimed bodies from the mortuary were buried in two mass graves. Neither witness included bodies which were not brought into the hospital mortuary. An anonymous writer “John Citizen” gave the figure in Junior Service quarters of Ahmadu Bello University alone. Allowing for bodies not taken to mortuary 120 is reasonable assessment.
September Disturbances In Zaria
Only two witnesses gave estimates for the whole of Zaria during this period, Dr. Okoye giving 1,000 dead said his source is from a policeman, who had opportunity to go round. Mr. Ajemba who is less educated gave his estimate basing it on killings at different parts of the town at 2,300. It is reasonable to accept no less than 1,000.
Vom Research Station, Zaria
Witness: E.O. Ezebuiro – (20)
Grounds for credibility: Expatriate Mr. Nixon told witness of 38 bodies definitely seen among Research Station workers. Witness estimates a total of 45 workers, and 10 among traders and teachers in town.
Witness: S.A. Gookey
Grounds for credibility: 30 among Research station workers and about 8 in town. The others were non-Easterners.
Considering the fact that at the beginning non-Easterners were among those killed the figure of 40 Easterners killed is a reasonable estimate. Mr. Nixon saw 38 bodies and Mr. Ezebuiro estimated about 10 killed among traders and teachers in the town.
Witness: W. Iwebi
Figure: Not less than 500
Grounds for credibility: Witness emphasizes that killings started on 28/9/66 night and by 2.pm on 29/9/66 he went into protective custody at the police station. He saw over 200 bodies on the major roads leading to police station and estimates 500 dead in Jos town up to 2.pm on 22/9/66. But killings continued unabated after that time.
Witness: K.O. Ezeanwu
Grounds for credibility: Witness made no attempt to make estimate for the whole town. He saw about 250 corpses on the road that led him to the railway station.
Witness: Miss K.I. Ogbolu – (1,350)
Grounds for credibility: Witness gave variable estimate. She was firm on 9 trips of tipper for mass grave with 50 bodies each trip = 450 bodies. 3 mass graves x 450 = 1,350 bodies. Reasonable to accept 2,000 in view of those not brought into mass grave.
Killings in Jos descended with suddenness on the night of 28/29 September in an area hitherto quiet. Two of the witnesses gave figures and corpses as seen on those streets through which they ran towards place of safety. Miss Ogbolu who stayed on pretending to be a Northerner gave figure for the whole town and as explained under her figure of 2,000 is a reasonable and credible estimate. The witness was the only person in a unique position (apart from the Northerners themselves) to give authentic estimates.
Witness: E. O. Ejikeme
Figure: 31 (May-June)
Grounds for credibility: There is no attempt to give total number of dead. The list is for those names that witness knows together with their home towns and professional pursuits.
Grounds for credibility: Estimate for whole town given by same witness on recall.
Witness: J.E. Aka
Grounds for credibility: Witness had lived in Katsina since 1958. His house was at a commanding position in Katsina-Kano road. He climbed by a ladder into an Hausa neighbour’s house from where he saw much.
Witness: Mrs. Aniebunwa
Grounds for credibility: These were dead bodies she actually saw killed at the police station and burnt.
Only two witnesses attempted to give an estimate of the total number of people killed in Kastina town during May-June disturbances. Both had lived in Katstina for some time. E.O. Ejikeme gives 100- 120 and J.E. Aka 150. An average of 123 is reasonable to accept.
Witness: Ese M.C. Ebiringa – 36
Figure: 300 (29th Sept, onwards).
Grounds for credibility: A hospital worker gave this information to witness when under protective detention in the prison yard. Bodies were collected by ambulance to hospital.
Witness: U.O.S. Oraka -14
Figure: 321 (29th Sept.)
Grounds for credibility: This was official figure given by a policeman to witness on 6/10/66. But instruction was given to killers to get into all bushes and kill all Nyamiris.
Witness: U. Nkemakonam
Figure: Over 40 (6th Sept.)
Grounds for credibility: No other witness gave evidence about killing in Nguru on 6/9/66. Witness however gave names of three of his relations who were killed on that date. He left Nguru on 8/9/66. His figure of over 40 is based on estimate.
Miss Ebiringa and Mr. Oraka’s figure of 300 and 321 were from official sources. Mr. Oraka’s figure given to him on 6/10/66 should be taken as the more comprehensive. These must be regarded as minimum possible because (a) officialdom has been known to water down the severity of the massacres, and (b) Mr. Oraka who had been through the bush knows of the extent of killing there. His two fleeing companions were not included in the official figures. Allowing a factor of 20% for this and adding 40 of 6th September it is reasonable to accept 426.
Witness: W.O.S. Oraka
Grounds for credibility: This was based on actual count from fugitives from Gaishua assembled at Maiduguri on their way home to Enugu.
This is the only witness for the town. His derivation is authentic. The particular significance here is that it could be taken as a sample of what must have happened in most other smaller town in Northern Nigeria about which there has been no evidence. Were it not for the almost miraculous survival of Mr. Oraka the killings in Gaishua would have been ‘lost to record’ like many other small towns.
Witness: U.A.E Ironbar – 37
Grounds for credibility: Witness is a supervisor. Estimate based on N.A. ferry loads transporting dead bodies to mass graves.
Witness: A.E. Archibong – 38
Figure: Over 1,000
Grounds for credibility: Witness estimates over 4,000 Easterners were at Maiduguri at the time what with Dumez employers arriving with their families. Most people who did not get to police office and prison yard were killed.
Grounds for credibility: Provincial police officer told the prison superintendent that over 1,000 were killed. The actual number was not given.
Witness: A. E. Amachree
Witness: A. E. Ekanem
Figure: Over 2,000
Grounds for credibility: Based on the ferocity of the attack.
The first witnesses giving figures of the dead at Maiduguri agree that killing started on the night of 28/9/66. The figures including the semi-official one from the provincial police officer to the superintendent of prisons centre around 1,000. The figure of the fifth witness O.E. Ekanem of over 2,000 is so far removed from the others to be less credible. Accepted 1,000.
Witness: A. Ehiringe – 29
Figure: 1275-1500 (1st and 2nd Oct.) Railway Station only.
Grounds for credibility: This was for the railway station and environs only for 1st and 2nd October. Witness resisted pressure to give figures for other places he did not visit. Estimate based on 2/3 of those in railway station being killed.
Witness: N.N Obim – 32
Figure: 1000-Sabongari Street, 2nd October
Grounds for credibility: Witness was rather shaky and does not at all appear sure. He makes no effort to give overall assessment of killings all over the town.
Witness: A.N. Unegbu – 40
Figure: 20 Killed in Sabongari, May 29th
Grounds for credibility: This was based on hearsay evidence from patients treated at Dr. Ugwunze’s hospital.
Witness: Mrs. D. Nwosu -91
Figure: 1000-2000 railway station, 1st Oct
Grounds for credibility: Witness appears intelligent and gives evidence in railway station only where she was at the time of the attack.
Witness: M.A. Okolie -116
Figure: Not less than 2000 between Sabongari and Brigade.
Grounds for credibility: This again is estimated for a section of Kano only.
Witness: P.I. Okwawa -125
Figure: Minimum 7,090 (1st & 2nd Oct.) (a) railway station 800-900. (b) six principal roads in Sabongari 700. (c) international Airport terminal etc., 400
Grounds for credibility: Most reliable and intelligent. Actually taken round on a drive to see dead bodies on morning of 2/10/66. Classified his figures area by area and in all cases they are smaller than those areas given out by other witnesses limiting themselves to single areas; 4000 is estimate of people killed in their houses he did not actually see. Knowing a curfew was on at the time it is a credible figure.
Witness: C. E. Akanne -131
Figure: 200-300 May disturbances
Grounds for credibility: Witness intelligent. Bodies seen in mortuary. Did not include all killed as some were burnt on roads. The particular body they were looking for was not there. But were there all Easterners? Witness is secretary of Refugee Association and a businessman.
Witness: R.D. Uchendu-159
Figure: 50 dead – Sabongari in May disturbances (32lgbos 16 other Easterners).
Grounds for credibility: Witness intelligent, secretary of Ibo Union, had even names of the killed by census from his branch secretaries. Figure is for Sabongari and those who did not severe relationship with Ibos. Those Easterners living outside Sabongari are not included in his survey.
Witness: E. Iduate-Spiff-163
Figure: 4067 (1st & 2nd October).
Grounds for credibility: This figure was given witness by a Northerner who worked at the welfare centre where bodies were packed presumably after overflow in the mortuary.
Witness: A.R. Akasi
Figure: 526 (May disturbances)
Grounds for credibility: Witness says this figure appeared in the local edition of New Nigeria of 2/6/66. There was official denial of this on 3/6/66, but no figures were substituted. The paper was not tendered.
May-June Disturbances Only 4 witnesses in their evidence gave figures relating to the number of Easterners killed in Kano during the May disturbances. The fortieth witness A.N. Unegbu giving evidence on day 14 gave the figure from patients treated at Dr. Ugwunze’s hospital during the disturbances. The 131st witness, C.E. Akanne giving evidence on day 33 gave the figure of those killed as between 200 and 300. He actually went into the mortuaries to look for the body of a particular boy. It was while wading through the corpses in search of this particular boy that he formed this estimate, tie was a businessman in Kano and now secretary of the Refugee Association, incidentally he did not see the body of the boy there; the boy was never seen again. And it was his view that not all the bodies of those killed during the May-June disturbances were taken to the mortuary.
The 159th witness Mr. R.D. Uchendu giving evidence on day 37 gives me figure of 50 killed in Sabongari. He was secretary Ibo Union Kano and got this figure including the names of those killed by enquiring from his branch secretaries in Sabongari. He however, admits that for places outside Sabongari where Easterners were congregated, their massacre was almost total. Witness 172 A.E. Akrasi giving evidence on day 38 gives the figure of 526. He claims to have got this figures from a local edition of New Nigeria of 2nd June, 1996. He says officials denied this figure on 3/6/66 without substituting another. The circumstances make 200-300 of Mr. Akanno most credible. Average 250 is therefore accepted.
September- October disturbances
Of the 6 witnesses who gave estimates for the dead in Kano during the September – October disturbances only 2 attempted to give figures covering the whole town. The other 4 gave estimates in respect of the areas of the town where the wave of killing overtook them. Witness 125 Mr. P. I. Okwawa giving evidence on day 32 gave the figure of 7,090 minimum killed. Mr. Okwawa is a graduate and a secondary school teacher of long experience. Taken as he claimed to be a Ghananian, he had the singular experience of being taken round the town on 2/10/66 in an army jeep by Northern Nigerian soldiers who took remarkable pride in showing off what they had done to ‘Okpara’s brothers’. Mr. Okwawa arrived at the total by making estimate of the number of bodies he saw during the drive through, the town. Tl s figures, he gave for each section of the town are smaller than those given by other witnesses whose evidence was limited to these various sections Thus. Mr. Okwawa gives for railway station 800-900 as against 1275-1500 given by witness 29, Mr. Ebiringa and 1000-2000 by 91st witness Mrs. D. Nwosu. He gives the figures of 700 for the principal roads in Sabongari as against 1000 by witness 32 N.N. Obia and not less than 2000 between Sabongari and brigade given by 116th witness M.A. Okolie. Mr. Okwawa’s total figure includes the figure of 4000 estimated killed in their houses since the attack started in the night after a curfew had already been imposed. The other person who gave overall figure for the town is witness 163 Iduate-Spiff who gave 4067 up to 2nd October. He got this figure from a Northerner who worked at the Welfare Centre where dead bodies were stacked before burial in common graves. Evidence had however been given that the mortuaries in the City Hospital were first filled up before use was made of the Welfare Centre from which Iduate-Spiff’s Northern friend got his figures. Everything considered Mr. Okwawa’s range of 7,090 to 7,760 is the most credible. Mean of 7,425 is therefore accepted.
Witness: J. F. C. Mbaso -105
Figure: 45-50 (Sept.)
Grounds for credibility: Witness went into hiding on the opposite bank of the river and bases his estimate on information from messengers and market people who crossed the river.
Witness: Miss A.U. Okon -143
Grounds for credibility: Witness was given this figure by others and only relates to people who could not run away. People hunted out in the bushes and killed were not included.
Mr. Mbaso has taken into consideration those escapees who were hunted and killed in the bush while Miss Okon’s figure relates to those killed with in the town. The instinct of preservation would lead most people to run away especially as the attack was in the daytime. It is therefore reasonable to assume that as many people were killed on the run as within the town. The lower figure of 45 is therefore accepted as minimum.
Witness: D. C. Princewill – 52
Figure: 300-500 (May- June).
Grounds for credibility: Witness lived in Kaduna as Senior Executive Officer of P. & T. His estimate is based on messages of the ferocity of the attack.
Witness: Mr. LB. Udumaga
Figure: 200 (in one night)
Grounds for credibility: Witness is Inspector of Police based in Kaduna. He remembered estimates of 200 dead in Bauchi in one night alone before the police situation reports clamped down a censorship.
All reports confirm that the ferocity of the attack during the May- June disturbances was greatest at Bauchi. It was a massacre and civil servants left alive were withdrawn. The only witness giving evidence in respect of Bauchi as a resident there was Mr. S.C. Nwakeuba (87). He was beaten up unconscious and left for dead. He was later carried to the hospital where he spent 21 days and was not in a position to estimate deaths. It is reasonable to take the mean between 200 for one night and Mr. Princewill’s upper limit of 500. Accepted estimate of dead is 350.
Witness: J.N. Abisi
Figure: May (2) July – Sept. (50) Sept. 29th – Oct, 4th (1,000)
Grounds for credibility: Witness was quite intelligent, and as a prison warder of low rank was in a position to mix with ordinary people. He says during May disturbances, people resident in Kaduna carried out the operations; their preoccupation was location and destruction.
After July 29th, Easterners were kidnapped and killed almost every day. For Sept., 29th operation blood-thirsty Buzus were imported for the massacre. His estimate is on trips of lorry loads carrying corpses and passing by his house; about 400 bodies were moved on 29th and earlier part of 30th when witness was taken away for protective custody. 1,000 at least must have been killed before October 2nd judging by the scale of operation. This figure is confirmed by the fact that of about 4,000 Easterners in Kaduna before the operation only about 1,500 were seen at the place of protective custody and chances and means of escape were poor.
Witness: B.E. Obianwu
Figure: 68 on Sept, 29th
This was the number of corpses sent to mortuary as seen by the correspondent of “Tzar” on 29th September, 1966. This was the first day of the massacre.
J.N. Abisi’s evidence is not contradicted. The derivation of his figures is on sound basis and other witnesses who were not in a position to give figures confirm the ferocity of the killing. The figure of 68 given by the correspondent of the paper “Tzar” was for the start of the operation. Mr. Abisi’s figures are accepted as credible.
Witness: D.G. Princewill
Grounds for credibility: Argungu is an important fishing centre and trade in fish was flourishing and attracted many Easterners. Reports have it that practically no Easterners were left alive. Certainly no surviving person came up to give evidence to the tribunal.
Accept the mean of 125.
Witness: D. C. Princewill -52
Figure: 50(May- June)
Grounds For Credibility: Witness living in Kaduna got this figure from telephone conversation. Kontagora is a small place.
Witness: G. O. Anikpe -103
Grounds for Credibility: This was one of the passengers travelling with witness from Gusau to the East. Their lorry was attacked.
Mr. Anikpe’s evidence confirms that attacks were ferocious at Kontagora when they even attacked people in transit. It is therefore not difficult to accept that those a J. sally resident in the place had slim chance to escape and to accept Mr. Princewill’s figure of 50. No surviving witness from the town could be found to give evidence.
Witness: M.A. Nwizu -34
Grounds For Credibility: This was in respect of those killed in the railway station where witness had rushed to with other fugitives after the suddenness of the unexpected attack. Bodies were carried away.
Witness: M. Nzewi – 35
Grounds for credibility: Witness was on duty at the Enugu end of Benue bridge. Soldiers took about 10 persons per trip from Makurdi to North end of bridge where they were shot. He heard their cries as they were shot. They made the trip three times before day break. Witness ran into the goods train for Enugu straight from his work place.
Witness: L.C. Ume
Grounds for credibility: Witness was hiding within easy distance of the railway station while the soldiers were asking for him. The soldiers made 6 trips of landrover carrying away 10 people in each trip. He heard shots and he believed the people were killed at the bridge side.
The position in Makurdi was a peculiar one. From comparative calm disorder descended like a bolt from the blue on the night of 20th September, 1966. By 21st September. 1966 every living Easterner had left the place. Evidence on this sheet concerns deaths among residents in Makurdi, transit passengers killed at the bridge are not included. L. C. Ume was authentic about 6 trips of landover carrying ten each. It is likely that only 3 of those crossed the Benue bridge as noticed by E. Nzewi. The other trip being in other directions for the killing. It is more credible that the landover made 6 trips during the whole night than only 3. Witness Ononye (42) confirms from an escape, that Easterners were indeed conveyed from the railway station. Killings in the town were more difficult to assess. Witness Chukwuani (149) confirms that the ASP he sent into town on 20/9/66 night saw many dead bodies in the streets, while he himself saw a few the following morning. A figure of 20 so killed is the likely minimum.
Total of 80 is therefore accepted as those killed among the residents in Makurdi in September 20-21, 1966. A separate assessment for those abducted from trains and killed at Makurdi airport road should be made.
Zakibiam-Yandev and Neighbourhood
Witness: O.S.I Udeng
Grounds for credibility: Witness was posing as a teacher of Tiv origin before the army and hired thugs. These killings were witnessed by him personally between 29/8/66 to first week in September at different sites in and around Zakibiam. Some were buried alive.
Posing as a teacher of Tiv origin the killers took pride in showing the witness the results of their “thoroughness”. He was invited to count the bodies in some cases. The soldiers were specifically stationed at Yandev which is the escape route of Easterners fleeing from the commercial centre of Wukeri. People killed at other periods beside that specified above are not included in the figure. It is known that the culmination of the orgy of killing in these areas was the Makurdi massacre of September 20-21. It is reasonable to estimate that if 198 was killed the one week beginning 29/8/66, then up to 21st September at least another 198 would have been killed in these areas. Accepted for Zakibiam, Yandev and neighbourhood 396.
Witness: G.O. Okoro – 81
Grounds for credibility: Witness was a fugitive from Lau and was harboured at Jalingo police station when he saw 12 dead bodies being taken for burial.
Witness: L.O. Oragba – 25
Grounds for credibility: Mr. Oragba who was living at Jalingo saw 2 dead bodies. He knew of 4 critically wounded and one wounded. These have not been seen again and may be presumed dead.
Minimum of 12 were killed.
Witness: A. Okoye – 90
Grounds for credibility: Witness was knocked down after matchet wounds. Was taken unconscious to Zaria hospital where he stayed for 2 weeks. He was informed about 5 people known to him who were killed in Funtua.
Witness: U.N.I. Onwuka 101
Grounds for credibility: Witness was a resident in Funtua for a long time and was well connected. He knew of 4 killed and 20 wounded.
Mr. Onwuka is in a better position to know what happened and so his figure of 4 should be accepted.
Witness: A.E. Okorom
Figure: 315 (Sept)
Grounds for credibility: Witness saw three dead bodies. There were 25 Easterners in the town at the time of the attack. Since witness has not heard of or from the others the figure of three is minimum possible. From the moment of the attack witness went into the bush and saw those bodies while on the run.
Since witness has not heard from any of the 25 Easterners in Misau so since the attack, and since he saw as many as 3 dead bodies on the path of his escape, it is reasonable to assume at least half their number were killed. The figure of 12 is taken.
Witness: P.N. Ezike – 61
Figure: 1 (Sept.)
Grounds for credibility: There were only two Easterners in the town. One was killed and the witness escaped.
Witness: A. Obi – 138
Figure: 2 (May)
Grounds for credibility: All Easterners in Daura were collected and kept in a place 10 miles from town to enable the natives loot their properties undisturbed. Two people who went back for their properties were killed.
This number is certain for the May-June disturbances.
Lafia & Mada
Witness: D. Agwu -166
Figure: 8 (Sept.)
Grounds for credibility: Seven were killed by civilian attackers at Lafia on 28/9/66. Because of the attack their train was ordered to be moved further North to Mada. It was here that soldiers killed a railway worker by cutting his throat in the presence of his “brothers” to see.
This figure is only in respect of two isolated incidents in the area. No other witness was available to give evidence covering a wider period. It is unlikely however that after the attack at Lafia on 28/9/ 66 many Easterners remained behind in the place. The figure of 8 should therefore be accepted.
Witness: J.A. Osakwe
Grounds for credibility: Witness was taken into barracks on 29/7/66. They were brought out every two hours for canning for the one day he was there. During that one day he helped load about 38 bodies into a tipper carrying them to a mass grave in the barracks.
Witness has not given any opinion on total number of killings at Ikeja but has limited himself to what he saw within the brief period where he was detained. An assessment of both soldiers and civilians killed at Ikeja must be derived from the ferocity and duration of the attack.
Witness were not only those resident at the place but also traders of Eastern origin travelling to and from Lagos.
Witness: E.U. Ozoh
Figure: 1 (May)
Grounds for credibility: Destruction and looting were the order of the day in Sokoto and Easterners were collected in a place. One person was killed on the second day when he taught there was a lull.
Witness: M.E. Ogbonnaya
Figure: 40 (Sept.- Oct.,)
Grounds for credibility: All Easterners in the village were killed off. Witness who was most intelligent and objective estimated there were no less than 40 Easterners in the village at the time. He confirms that the train which he escorted was the last available means of escape and any Easterner who was in it must be presumed killed. Witness resisted pressure to give estimate for Gusau where he was in May – June or Maiduguri where he was in September but readily gave for Bulabli where he was reasonably sure of the figure.
Accepted 40 minimum.
Bukuru and Minefield Area
Witness: Daniel llo
Figure: 300 (Sept.)
Grounds for credibility: As Industrial Relation Officer for the tin mines witness knew a lot of the workers. About 800-900 were Easterners and from conversation with those who managed to return at least 300 must have been killed.
Accepted 300 minimum.
It should be noted that these figures relate to the killings in the town mentioned. Those killed in their flight outside the towns have not been included.
No witnesses were available to give evidence about quite a number of sizeable towns among which are, Potiskum, Azare, Hadeija, Dikwa, Biu, Bama, Wukari, Pankshin, Shendam, Lafia, Gboko, Abiya, Bida, Birnin Kebbi, Kafanchan, Oturkpo etc.
In order to calculate the total number of Easterners killed all over Northern Nigeria, it was found necessary to classify the towns into various size classes. Then the towns for which evidence was available were used as samples for towns of appropriate size class in the region and the figures raised to give a total for the size class.
By adding the total of the size classes dealt with an estimate was obtained for the number of persons killed throughout Northern Nigeria.
Remembering that in 1952 there were already some 6,971 population agglomerations in Northern Nigeria of which 691 had a population of 5,000 and above the Tribunal decided to concentrate its inquiries on towns with a population of 5,000 and over and which were likely to contain a significant migrant population. By 1963 however, as can be seen from table 1 below there were some 1934 population agglomerations with a population of 5,000 and over in Northern Nigeria.
Distribution of Population Agglomerations by Size Classes in the Federation of Nigeria
|Size Classes of Agglomerations||Number of Agglomerations in each size class in 1963||Number of Agglomerations in each size class and over in 1963||Total population in each size class and over in 1963 in 000’s|
|Nigeria||Northern Nigeria||Western Nigeria||Mid-Western Nigeria||Eastern Nigeria||Nigeria||Northern Nigeria||Western Nigeria||Mid-Western Nigeria||Eastern Nigeria||Nigeria||Northern Nigeria||Western Nigeria||Mid-Western Nigeria||Eastern Nigeria|
|5,000 – 9,999||1896||457||86||47||306||2623||1934||204||61||424||26,894||18,460||5,113||759||4,561|
|10,000 – 9,999||572||415||55||10||92||727||477||118||14||118||15,761||8,314||4,514||442||491|
|20,000 – 19,999||107||45||40||1||21||155||62||63||4||26||7,535||2,836||3,715||296||1,233|
|50,000 – 99,999||29||13||13||2||1||48||17||23||3||5||5,288||1,721||2,603||276||688|
|100,000 and over||19||4||10||4||4||19||4||10||1||4||3,271||820||1,718||122||612|
In view of the large number of towns involved and the limited time at the disposal of the Tribunal, it was decided to limit inquiry to towns in the three broad classes 10,000 – 49,999,50,000 – 99,999,100,000 and above. In the size class 100,000 and over evidence was taken from persons living in three towns out of the four in this size class. In the fourth town llorin in this size class, any disturbances there might have been were not of a serious nature and have therefore been disregarded in the calculation. In the next size class of towns 50,000 – 99,999 evidence was taken from persons in 8 towns out of 13 towns in this size class. The figures of deaths obtained were then raised to give the estimated number of deaths for this size class.
In the next size class 10,000 – 49,999 there are 460 towns. Evidence was taken in respect of 17 (seventeen) towns in this size class. The population of those 17 towns constitutes about 5% of the total population of all the towns in this size class. Witnesses were not available to give evidence on other towns among which are Potiskum, Azare, Hadeija, Dikwa, Biu, Bama, Wukari, Pankshin, Shendam, Lafia, Gboko, Abuja, Bida, Birnin Kebbi, Kafanchan, to mention a few, where sizeable populations of Eastern Nigerians were known to reside. Considering the planning and organisation, the agencies at work, the ferocity and general spread of the pogrom it is reasonable to assume that in these towns quite a sizeable number must have perished without any means of getting them into the records. Furthermore, killings were not confined to towns but covered the escape routes of fleeing Easterners. Many witnesses testify that soldiers were posted to those escape routes to trap and kill fleeing Easterners. The 38th witness, Mrs. Gloria Archibong testified that on the night of 9th October, 1966, an expatriate Engine Driver, taking them to Enugu, detached his diesel engine and left the passengers in their coaches, three miles to the Oturkpo railway station.
The Idoma passengers were instructed to leave the train by the soldiers. At the signal of a bell sounding the native attacked the Easterners in their coaches killing and looting. Their soldier escorts shot either into the air or to kill any passengers attempting to run out of the coaches. Corroboration of this testimony was given by many other passengers who travelled on this trip some of whom received injuries while a headless corpse was seen in one of the
The 196th witness, Mr. Udong, saw about 198 corpses along his escape route through Yandev and Zakibiam areas. Dr. Okoye the 30th witness said that as their train pulled out of Zaria after the 28th – 29th September 1966 massacres vultures were swarming around the dead bodies of fleeing Easterners littered along the track. The Tribunal therefore feels justified in raising the figures of deaths for the 17 towns to obtain the number of deaths for the towns in this size class.
No attempt has been made to estimate the number of deaths in localities with a population of less than 10,000 persons except in two significant instances Vom and Kainji where proportionately large migrant population from Eastern Nigeria lived. It is quite impossible to estimate with any reliable accuracy the number of Easterners who lost their lives in the many smaller towns and about whom no evidence could in the peculiar circumstances of the events of these pogroms be taken. The estimate which we offer are therefore to be regarded as minimal estimates. The evidence of witnesses on deaths in various towns by the Tribunal is appended here as Table 2.
- Size class 10,000 – 49,999
|S/N||Town||Number of Persons Killed 1966, May/ – June||Sept./Oct.||Total Number Killed||1963 Population of towns|
Mada & Lafia
- Size class 5,000 – 9999
|S/N||Town||Number of Persons Killed 1966, May/ – June||Sept./Oct.||Total Number Killed||1963 Population of towns|
Estimates of Number of Persons Killed
The estimate for the total number of Eastern Nigerians killed in Northern Nigeria is obtained by adding the total number of persons killed in the size class 100,000 and over (d0) to the raised total obtained from the towns in the size classes 50,000 – 99,999 (d1) and 10,000 – 49,999 (d2) and the total for the two towns Vom and Kainji which each has a population of less than 10,000 (d3).
For the size classes 50,000 – 99,999 and 10,000 – 49,999 the raised totals of deaths are obtained as follows. Let ‘n’ be the number of deaths as accepted by the Tribunal in the towns of the size class in which evidence was taken. Let ‘N’ represent the total population of these towns. Let ‘P’ represent the total population of all towns in the size class, then the estimated number of deaths ‘d’ for that size class of towns is given by the formula:
d = n/N x p
- As a numerical example for the size class
50,000 – 99,999 we have
n1 = 3768, N1 = 551,291, P1 = 901216
d1 = 3768
551291 x 901216 = 6160…
- For the size class 10,000 – 49,999 we have
n = 1954, N2 = 417093, P2 = 6592656
d2 = 1954/417093×6592656 = 30,887
iii. d3 = 2220
Total estimate of number of Easterners killed in Northern Nigeria =
d0 + d1 + d2 + d3
= 9865 + 6160 + 30887 + 2220
This is reasonably close to the figure of 45,397 arrived at earlier by estimates based on sample survey carried out in Eastern Nigeria by field workers of the Economic Planning Commission.
In conclusion the Tribunal hereby makes its finding that between 45,000 and 50,000 civilians of former Eastern Nigeria were killed in Northern Nigeria and other parts of Nigeria from 29th May 1966 to December 1967 and although it is not strictly within its terms of reference the Tribunal estimates that not less than 1,627,743 Easterners fled back to Eastern Nigeria as a result of the 1966 pogrom.