No fewer than 1,000 civilians were reportedly killed while 1,400 houses were razed in Imo State between January 2021 and June 30, 2023, under Governor Hope Uzodinma, according to the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety).
The Intersociety also asserted that at least 3,700 people arbitrarily were arrested and that 320 others disappeared without traces.
It added that no fewer than 200 unarmed citizens were also arrested under false labelling and taken into custody where they were most likely being tortured or threatened with custodial death.
This was contained in a review of its special investigative reports on the genocidal situation of Christians in Nigeria and the Imo mass atrocities issued on April 10/June 12 and May 21, 2023.
The report was jointly signed by Emeka Umeagbalasi (Criminologist-Researcher), Board Chair; Chinwe Umeche Esquire, Head, Democracy and Good Governance; Obianuju Joy Igboeli Esquire, Head, 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 also noted that at least 80 of the slain 100 unarmed citizens were openly killed, while 20 were killed in custody after having been abducted and made to disappear.
The report partly read, “The findings from comprehensive review of our 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 two worst hit areas are communities in Izombe and neighboring 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.
“While 80 of the slain 100 unarmed citizens were openly killed, 20 were killed in custody after having been abducted and disappeared.
“Not less than 200 unarmed citizens were arbitrarily arrested under false labeling and taken into custody where they are most likely being tortured or threatened with custodial death.
“The Nigerian Military and Police authorities have also been detected trying to influence media reports by compromising a section of the media to change their atrocious conducts to ‘attacks carried out by Unknown Gunmen or Members of the proscribed IPOB and its ESN terrorists.’
“For instance, attempts have been made by the authorities of the deployed security forces to change the original media reports accusing the security forces of killing ‘at least 50 civilians and burning down of 170 civilian houses in Izombe and environs between 7th June and 19th June 2023.’”
It continued, “Therefore, in the past 30 months or January 2021 to 30th June 2023 under Hope Uzodinma as Imo Governor, a total of 1000 civilians have been killed, 3,700 arbitrarily arrested and 320 disappeared without traces.
“Not less than 1,400 civilian houses have also been burned down or wantonly destroyed and their 72,000 occupants (average of 30 persons per dwelling ancestral house) forced into homelessness and displacement during which at least 600,000 members of the defenseless general population were forced to flee to avoid being class-criminalized, falsely profiled, abducted or arbitrarily arrested and detained without trial or killed and false-labeled.”
“Seven of the eight armed non state actors operating in Imo State have killed at least 730 and abducted 940 others since then. Intersociety has severally investigated and found that victims of the Muslim-controlled security forces atrocities in Imo State are targeted on the grounds of their ethnicity, religion and identities,” the statement added.