The apex Igbo organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has rejected the panel of inquiry set up by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, to probe the alleged killing of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) members by personnel of the Nigerian Army.
Ohanaeze, in a statement titled: “Buratai, with respect, cannot be a judge in your court” and signed by its President-General, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, said that the probe cannot stand the test of objectivity.
Nwodo highlighted cases of the Army’s brutality against the Igbo, saying the outcome of the investigation would not be acceptable to the Ohanaeze.
He expressed regret that his ceaseless call for a judicial commission of inquiry on the Army’s brutality was ignored until Amnesty International got involved.
Nwodo said: “In Ezu River in Anambra State, 21 bodies floated for two months without anyone identifying them till today. Claims that they were MASSOB members hacked down by combined Police and Army personnel remain uninvestigated.”
“In Aba, IPOB members were gunned down by soldiers for just gathering to hold a meeting. No investigation was done. In Port Harcourt, IPOB claims 11 of their members were gunned down by soldiers. I called for an inquiry, nothing happened. Instead further killings were done in Asaba,” he stated.
Nwodo stated that the Ohanaeze is not opposed to the Army Chief carrying out an internal investigation in his service but declared that, “the findings of such an investigation will neither be acceptable to Ohanaeze nor stand the test of objectivity until it is subjected to an impartial body.