Imo State: 100 killed, 230 houses destroyed in 24 days, says civil rights group in new report

By Samuel Ogunsona

No fewer than 100 people have been killed in Imo State, the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety), has said.

In the new report, the group said some 230 houses have been destroyed by security operatives hunting innocent people.

Irohinoodua could not independently confirm the report as at press time.

It said the numbers of detained individuals amount to 3,700 while 320 persons disappeared without any trace.

The group links the killings to genocidal treatment of Christian believers.

The report was jointly signed by Emeka Umeagbalasi (Criminologist-Researcher), Board Chair; Chinwe Umeche Esquire, Head, of Democracy and Good Governance; Obianuju Joy Igboeli Esquire, Head, of Civil Liberties and Rule of Law; Chidinma Udegbunam, Esquire, Head of Publicity; Ndidiamaka Catherine Bernard Esquire, Head, Int’l Justice, and Human Rights and Ositadinma Agu, Head, Int’l Contacts and Mobilization

The report said findings from a comprehensive review of Special Research and Investigative Report on Imo Mass Atrocities unveiled on 21st May 2023 have shown that not less than 100 unarmed civilians have been killed by military personnel and other rogue law enforcement agents between 7th June and 30th of June 2023, a period of 24 days and additional 230 civilian homes burned down or wantonly destroyed-with thousands rendered homeless and forced to flee.

The group said “The two worst hit areas are communities in Izombe and neighbouring others including Agwa Autonomous Community; all in Oguta Local Government Area as well as Amucha, Orlu, Njaba, Orsu, and others under Orlu Zone of the State.

“Emeka Umeagbalasi, board chair and criminologist-researcher, Chinwe Umeche, head of democracy and good governance, Obianuju Joy Igboeli, head of civil liberties and rule of law, Chidinma Udegbunam, head of publicity, and Ndidiamaka, all attorneys, collectively signed the report. Ositadinma Agu, head of international contacts and mobilization, and Catherine Bernard Esquire, head of international justice and human rights

“The study also stated that 20 of the 100 unarmed victims were killed in captivity after being kidnapped and made to disappear, while at least 80 of them were slaughtered in the open.

“The findings from a thorough assessment of our Special Research and Investigative Report on Imo Mass Atrocities, which was released on May 21, 2023, revealed that at least 100 unarmed citizens had been killed by military forces.

The group said, from January 2021 to June 30th, 2023, when Hope Uzodinma was the governor of Imo, a total of 1000 civilians died, 3,700 people unlawfully detained, and 320 people vanished without a trace.

“Communities in Izombe and its adjoining Agwa Autonomous Community, both in Oguta Local Government Area, as well as Amucha, Orlu, Njaba, Orsu, and other regions under Orlu Zone of the State, are the two hardest affected areas.

“While 80 of the 100 unarmed victims were slaughtered in the open, the other 20 were killed in captivity after being kidnapped and going missing.

“At least 200 unarmed people were unjustly detained under false pretences, tortured, or threatened with death in detention, before being taken into custody.

“The security operatives have also been found attempting to sway media coverage by conning a portion of the media to portray their heinous acts as “attacks carried out by Unknown Gunmen or Members of the Military.

“For instance, the officials of the deployed security forces have made measures to alter the initial media reports that accused the security forces of “at least 50 civilian deaths and the burning of 170 civilian homes in Izombe and environs between June 7 and June 19, 2023.”

“At least 600,000 members of the defenceless have also been among the 72,000 inhabitants of the 1,400 civilian homes that have been burned down or willfully destroyed, with an average of 30 people per dwelling ancestral house.”

“Since then, at least 730 people have been killed and 940 people have been kidnapped by seven of the eight-armed non-state actors operating in Imo State. Intersociety has conducted numerous investigations and discovered that Imo State’s security forces target their victims based on their ethnicity, religion, and identity.”

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