The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu has been dragged to the International Criminal Court (ICC) over the mass graves allegedly discovered by security operatives in Abia state.
In a criminal complaint filed by a civil rights activist, Albert Ella, Kanu and the IPOB were accused of committing heinous crimes against Nigerians.
The Department of State Services had in a statement accused members of IPOB of killing and burying over fifty people in a shallow grave in Isuikwuato local government area of Abia state. The statement had been discredited by Abia State government and leading human rights organisation, Intersociety.
The DSS also claimed that five out of the bodies exhumed from the grave were identified as Hausa-Fulani’s killed by IPOB members.
To this, Ella through his lawyer, Edward Omaga of the Graylaw Solicitors said records show that the fifty unidentified persons, whose dead bodies the DSS claimed to have exhumed, were murdered by IPOB with the use of chemicals and other dangerous instruments against the Rome statute.
Ella’s complaint which was dated April 13, and filed on April 19 at the ICC has also been acknowledged by Leigh Swigart, a senior trial attorney in the office of the prosecutor of the international court.
Ella in his claims said the unidentified victims were also suspected to be Hausa-Fulani people who are entitled to right to life as guaranteed under Chapter IV of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights and other international human rights instruments. He said the victims deserve justice from the ICC urgently.
Also Omaga said Ella’s complaint seeks to expose the divisive and gruesome activities of IPOB in recent times.
It also urged the ICC to open investigation and prosecute Kanu and other members of the IPOB who claimed to be freedom fighters following the unwillingness of Nigerian courts to try them. This claim is curious because Nnamdi Kanu his under-going trial for his activism and is currently being detained without bail. Also, mass graves of IPOB activists murdered by Nigerian soldiers have been uncovered in Abia State and this complaint is silent on those ones.
Also, Wolfgang Bendler, a German based legal practitioner on the list of counsels at the ICC has been appointed to work full time on this case as international head of the legal team to be assisted by Mr. Omaga.
“We commiserate with families of those who lost their lives in the hands of IPOB and assure all well-meaning Nigerians that justice devoid of political undertone is tenable.
“The end will soon come for all the purveyors of evil and iniquity in this country. We are not asking those who had associated with IPOB in the hope of using intellect and due process to pursue self-determination to forget their quest.
“However, it is now apparent that IPOB is no longer the vehicle for the actualization of the “Republic of Biafra” as vigorously sought by forefathers of the Igbo people.
“We look forward to obtaining justice for the sake of humanity at The Hague where it is settled that the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole must not go unpunished,” Omaga said.