Intersociety’s Special Report Bias, False Intelligence Fueling Continued Wanton Destruction Of Lives/ Properties In Southeast
Criminal entities terrorizing, abducting and killing civilians and unleashing property violence in the Southeast unmasked
security forces turn blind eyes on fifth columnist counterfeiters and other criminal entities; focusing only on ‘ESN/IPOB’
…members of the defenceless Igbo civilian population still bear the brunt of killings by the military, police, counterfeiters and others
…40 Igbo communities were attacked in Jan-April by soldiers/ebubeagu militias and police and 400 civilian homes were razed or burned
…400 civilians were killed in Jan-April by security forces, Fulani Jihadists, counterfeiters and others; hundreds were abducted for ransom
…3 criminal entities terrorizing, abducting and killing civilians and unleashing property violence in the Southeast unmasked
Onitsha, Eastern Nigeria
Friday, 13th May 2022
400 Defenseless Citizens Killed And 400 Civilian Houses Razed In Jan-April
Going by our recent updates arising from our special report of 19th Jan 2022 (How Security Forces, Jihadists killed 1400 Defenseless Civilians In 14 Months (Oct 2020-Dec 2021) In Eastern Nigeria, Abducted/Arrested Over 4800, Disappeared 1000, Attacked 100 Igbo Communities And Burnt Down Or Destroyed 1000 Dwelling Houses And Other Properties Valued At Over N40B), mass killing of members of defenceless Igbo civilian population of Southeast extraction and burning down or pillaging and plundering of their properties including ancestral dwelling houses have continued unabated and unchecked in the past four months of 2022. This is to the extent that no fewer than 400 defenceless civilians have been sent to their early graves. While security forces especially soldiers and police crack squads took responsibility for 200 deaths, Fulani Jihadists killed not less than 60 defenceless Igbo civilians and street criminal entities and suspected state actors who raised armed counterfeiters took responsibility for the remaining 150 deaths. Some innocent civilians have also died in the past four months in ESN’s “collateral” and “saboteurs” killings. At least 40 more Igbo communities were attacked and 400 defenceless civilian homes were razed or burned down or destroyed. In each of the ancestral Igbo communities attacked by soldiers and their ebubeagu militia allies as well as various police crack squads and “special forces”, at least ten houses and their properties were set ablaze or destroyed. The total property loss associated with the burning or destruction of the 400 ancestral Igbo homes is estimated at N16b-N20b. This is on average of N30m-N40m for each of the houses and its properties under attack. The burning down of no fewer than 400 homes belonging to ancestral Igbo natives by security forces has also generated at least 8000 internally displaced persons and forced them into taking refuge in their extended families located outside their razed or burned down ancestral homes or forcing them to flee so as to avoid being arrested or abducted and falsely or criminally labelled; or killed or abducted and disappeared without traces, especially by soldiers and police crack squads.
1000 Civilians Abducted Or Murderously Arrested By Security Forces And Others In Jan-April 2022
As much as, if not no fewer than 1000 members of the defenceless Igbo population in the Southeast have been abducted or murderously arrested in Jan-April 2022 by security forces, jihadists, street criminal entities and suspected state actors raised armed counterfeiters. While security agents accounted for 400 abductions or murderous arrests, Fulani jihadists, street criminal gangs and suspected state actors raised armed counterfeiters took responsibility for the remaining 600. Cases of permanent disappearances also accompanied abductions or murderous security arrests. Soldiers of the Nigerian Army and various police crack squads including IRT, STS, CTU, Anti Cult/Robbery/Kidnapping are responsible for the abduction or murderous arrest of no fewer than 400 mostly members of the defenceless civilian population in Southeast; accusing them of “ESN/IPOB membership”. Apart from the fact that all those abducted or murderously arrested by the named security agents are brutally tortured in custody and held for several months or periods not permitted by any written law in Nigeria, several of them are also marked for death in captivity, especially by soldiers of the Nigerian Army. This is to the extent that out of every five persons abducted or murderously arrested by soldiers since the beginning of 2021, four, if not the entire five have not been traced alive.
No fewer than 600 defenceless Igbo civilians were abducted between January and April 2022 by Fulani jihadists, ransom-demanding street criminal entities and suspected state actors who raised armed counterfeiters and others. Out of the 600 non-state actor abductions, invading Fulani Jihadists accounted for at least 100 abductions while others took responsibility for the remaining 500 abductions; out of which dozens have been killed in captivity for their inability to pay the ransoms demanded. Scores of others have died in captivity in the hands of Fulani jihadists on the grounds of their gender and religion or for being Igbo Christians. Hundreds of others including dozens of Christian clerics and hundreds of successful businessmen and businesswomen have coughed out billions of naira in ransom payments as the average of N2m-N10m is paid at gunpoint by each of the rich captives abducted. Such ransom is paid through electronic money transfers and sometimes through ‘cash drops’. These explain why flashy or exotic cars are rampantly targeted for snatching especially in Anambra and the Imo States and later abandoned elsewhere after their owners must have paid ransoms at gunpoint or used in other operations. As a matter of independent fact-finding, billions of naira had been lost in the past four months in the Southeast to gunpoint-induced electronic money transfers and cash ransom payments.
End of Executive Summary
Supportive Research/Investigative Findings
Bias and False Intelligence
Bias and False Intelligence arise as a result of the generation of intelligence on the grounds of ethnic profiling and hatred, driven by sectional, vindictive and crude policing or securitization. Such ethnic profiling and hate-derived corrupted intelligence is also a byproduct of unprofessionalism, criminal generalization, false labelling and stigmatisation such as classification or designation of an ethnoreligious group and treatment of the same as a “criminal group”. Bias and False Intelligence in this time of modernity are in the same league as hearsay intelligence or evidence from which ‘trial by ordeal’ and its monumental incoherence with the ‘Repugnancy Test’ (.i.e. principles of natural justice) of the civilized Laws and Jurisprudence were derived.
Discrimination In Security Command And Control Behind Bias And False Intelligence In Southeast
Since 2020 in the Southeast, bias and false intelligence, influenced by discrimination and segregation in command and control of the Nigerian security forces had become the frontal modus operandi of the country’s security forces especially soldiers of the Nigerian Army, personnel of the Nigeria Police Force and Intelligence Service Agencies drafted or stationed in Old Eastern Nigeria. The Bias and False Intelligence particularly in the Southeast part of the Old Eastern Nigeria or core Igbo areas was fueled and is still being fueled by the ethnic and religious radicalization of the country’s security forces and their High Commands-which had given rise to the present discrimination and segregation in their command and control. This is to the extent that centrally the security forces are dominated and controlled by members of the Northern Muslim population and the rest from other parts of the country. The number of indigenous Igbo senior security officers from the Southeast working in the same Southeast is very infinitesimal and they are administratively suppressed and discriminated against. Similar, if the not the same situation is the case at state and local government levels in the Southeast where those manning key security formations are mainly, if not mostly non indigenes who see and treat citizens of the Southeast Region as “hated criminal group or citizens”.
Some religiously radicalized non-Southeast senior security officers also see and treat the Southeast citizens as “religious and ethnic slaves under conquest”. The facts above stated are part of the findings of Intersociety in its several field investigations carried out as they concerned the composition and control of the Nigerian security forces particularly the Armed Forces, the Nigeria Police Force, Intelligence Service Agencies and the Paramilitaries in 2019-2021. Through the formulation of Bias and False Intelligence and its application in the Southeast and Igbo parts of the South-South, thousands of members of defenceless civilian population have been massacred or sent to their early graves by security forces. Multiple thousands of others have also been abducted and hundreds disappeared without traces while thousands still languish in different secret and locatable detention facilities for more than one year without trial or bail. Tens, if not hundreds of billions of naira worth of civilian properties including thousands of ancestral homes and their generational antiquities and sacred sanctuaries worth being quantified in billions of naira and others beyond material quantification have been razed or burned to ashes by soldiers of the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Police Force’s “special squads” and their allied militias.
This is even when such properties, generational antiquities and religious sanctuaries do not constitute “objects of crimes against persons or properties” or “military necessity or threats”. The despicable and hateful policy of Bias and False Intelligence is also used by the drafted security agencies to criminally label and stigmatize the Southeast defenceless civilian population and provide protective cover for several armed killer entities including invading Fulani Jihadists, fifth columnist counterfeiters and members of the ‘street criminal entities’ including armed robbers, car snatchers, kidnappers, cultists, ritualists, premeditated murderers and other property and humanity criminals. Through the use or application of Bias and False Intelligence, security agents and their high commands in the Southeast and other Igbo areas of the Old Eastern Nigeria now atrociously and crudely link to or blame every violent criminality in the Southeast and its ‘blue-collar’ setting on ‘ESN/IPOB’. In other words, except “ESN”, there are no more street criminal gangs such as armed robbers, car snatchers, kidnappers, cultists, ritualists, premeditated murderers, rapists and invading Fulani jihadists and clandestinely state actor-raised armed persons or ‘fifth columnist counterfeiters”. It is the finding of Intersociety that while the Southeast defenceless civilians and their properties are targeted for wanton destruction by security forces and have them labelled ‘bodies and properties of the ESN/IPOB”, no single Fulani Jihadist has been arrested and jailed or “killed in a gun battle in Eastern Nigeria”. This is despite the fact that in 2021, alone, no fewer than 250 rural and urban Igbo Christians were hacked to death by Fulani Jihadists and in the past four months of 2022 or January to April, not less than 60 defenceless others have died in secret and open killings by the jihadists and till date, not even a single one of them has been apprehended by security forces and severely punished.
Only 2% Of Security Intelligence And Information On Arrests And Killings In the Southeast Is Correct
Going by several investigations carried out by Intersociety in Old Eastern Nigeria since 2020, it is most likely correct to say that only 2% of security intelligence and information on arrests and killings by security forces and their High Commands in the Southeast and other Igbo areas of Old Eastern Nigeria is correct. That is also to say that 98% others are most likely to be false. Statistically speaking, it has been found by Intersociety that: “out of all the information operationally used (including intelligence) or publicly released by security forces particularly soldiers of the Nigerian Army and personnel of the Nigeria Police Force in their highly human rights abusive security operations in the Southeast and Eastern Nigeria by extension, 98% are highly questionable, if not totally false; out of every ten crimes reported and linked to “ESN/IPOB terrorism” in the Southeast, eight are most likely not linked to ‘ESN terrorism’ but if truly correct, they are perpetrated by members of street criminal gangs or invading Fulani jihadists or state actor clandestinely raised/oiled fifth columnist counterfeiters; out of every ten persons arrested and taken into custody by police (.i.e. IRT, STS, CTU, anti cult/robbery squads, etc) in connection with “Biafra matters”, eight are likely not going to come back; out of every ten persons abducted by soldiers over “Biafra matters”, nine, if not same ten are likely not going to come back; out of every ten persons openly killed by police or soldiers and labeled “ESN/IPOB members”, nine are likely members of the defenseless civilian population; out of every ten persons arrested by DSS over “Biafra matters”, nine are likely to be severely tortured, starved and held for several months or years without trial or release; out of every ten persons accused of “belonging to IPOB/ESN”, nine are most likely not armed ESN members and six others not “IPOB/Biafra activists”; out of every ten dwelling houses burned down or razed by soldiers/ebubeagu militias/police crack squads and labeled “IPOB/ESN properties”, nine, if not all the ten houses are most likely to belong to members of the defenseless civilian population; out of every ten Christian religious sanctuaries (.i.e. sacred places of worship for white clothed Christian organizations) burned down or destroyed by soldiers and police crack squads, same ten of them are most likely not linked to ‘ESN violence’; and out of every ten traditional religious sanctuaries or deities targeted and destroyed and labeled “ESN deities”, same number of them will most likely end up being material victims of hearsay, unscientific and unverified intelligence or evidence and religious profiling”.
Major Killer Groups In Southeast Forests: (1) Suspected State Actor Raised Armed Counterfeiters
There is the presence of armed groups in Southeast Forests especially in Anambra and the Imo States terrorizing defenceless citizens of the Region and their properties. They are strongly suspected to have been raised clandestinely by state actors with their channels of support through some political actors in Ebonyi and the Imo States. The “suspected state actor raised armed counterfeiters” are strongly suspected to have been raised clandestinely by Government to engage in savagely acts and cruelty targeting members of the civilian population and their properties and sometimes include using “expendables” in the security forces as perpetrators or “collateral victims”. Their Acts of savagely and cruelty under reference are perpetrated aiming at counterfeiting or blackmailing a blacklisted group and its activities including counterfeiting its formative self-defence activities and blackening them with savagely acts and cruelty such as the recent report of killing and decapitation of the body parts of a man and a woman referred by Nigerian Army as “couple soldiers”. The totality of these is ungodlily aimed at whipping up public sentiments or securing international blacklisting against the group. These killer groups have been sighted in Anambra State including forests around Ukpor and Anambra-Imo boundaries. Their activities include open shootings and killing of civilians and car-snatching, abductions, sexual violence and ransoms as well as targeted arsons and videoed savage killings, etc.
(2) Street Criminal Entities
These are formerly “Highway Robbers” and “Cash Ransom Kidnappers” and Cult Leaders and Notorious Human Traffickers who do them for a living on an “industrial scale”. Owing to phasing out of the ‘cash economy’ and introduction of ‘cashless banking’, they became ‘upgraded’ and have substantially gone into the mastery of cybercrimes by way of “e-kidnapping” whereby they abduct suspected rich citizens and others capable of being rich such as Christian clerics by snatching their exotic or flashy automobiles at gunpoint and forcing them to electronically open their bank details and forcefully transfer huge sums of money running into millions of naira per victim. In Anambra State, they are part of those terrorizing the State citizens and have independently been spotted in Oba, Umuoji and Obosi/Awada axis as well as Nnobi/Ichida/Awkaetiti/Igboukwu/Obeledu axis, etc. No less than ten Catholic Reverend Fathers and other Christian clergies have fallen victim to them across the State between March and April 2022. They operate between some forests/bushes and urban centres and their Imo and Abia States counterparts sometimes carry out cross-boundary attacks on Anambra citizens, especially around Ihiala, Nnewi South, Aguata and Orumba North and South axis, etc. A notorious ritualist/armed robbery/kidnapping kingpin was also said to have recently relocated with his gang from Aba in Abia State to an Ukpor forest in Anambra State. In late March 2022, a group of fierce-looking young males in a brown new Coaster Bus marked “Izzi Youth Movement” were independently sighted at about 7.30 pm along the Obeledu-Oraeri-Igboukwu Road axis heading to only God knows “Anambra Forest Camp”.
(3) Fulani Jihadists
Members of this rapist, murderous and religiously radicalized armed group have remained untouchable and unchecked in the hands of the Nigerian security forces drafted to Eastern Nigeria especially its Southeast part and other Igbo areas of Eastern Nigeria. Their jihadist abductions, sexual violence, killings and property destructions are hardly reported or checkmated by security forces. Though their presence in over 400 Igbo Southeast communal bushes and forests has drastically been independently checkmated and trimmed down, they have staged a comeback since late 2021 through politico-religious and ill-motivated offensive operations by soldiers of the Nigerian Army targeted at several Igbo communities including their bushes, forests and farmlands. A clear case in point was Nkanu East in Enugu State where they staged a violent comeback after soldiers invaded the area in late 2021, burned down civilian houses and killed scores of defenceless natives. It is also strongly suspected that the Fulani Jihadists are in alliance with suspected state actor armed counterfeiters whose atrocious members are independently found to have been raised through ‘ebubeagu militia experiment’. The strongly suspected Government oiled alliance between the two killer groups terrorizing defenceless citizens of the Southeast is strongly suspected to be such that once a new forest or bush is occupied by the armed counterfeiters, the jihadists will be invited to occupy and takeover. Some no-go areas present in the hands of the Fulani Jihadists are the thick forests of Akokwa-Okigwe Federal Road near the Anambra boundary and those of Umunze-Ndiokolo-Arondizogu-Okigwe Road. It was in the former that it was independently reported off records by a victim-successful businessman how he was kidnapped last month (April 2022) and held for several days by Fulani Jihadists who also laid ambush on a fully loaded passenger vehicle and abducted all the passengers numbering over ten. The victim had further disclosed how out of fifteen abductees-all Igbo Christians, eight were shot dead in his presence and he and the remaining ones were forced to trek for over two hours inside the bush and that in end, he was saved on account of the fact that he speaks Fulani Language fluently but not without coughing out through money transfer an N2m ransom.
Anti-State Security Actors Called “Eastern Security Network”
They have remained the “Lord of the Southeast Forests” and one of the Nigeria’s newest armed groups and a territorial defensive violent group. Independently formed to safeguard the Southeast forests, bushes and farmlands from Fulani Jihadists’ attacks and violent seizure and conversion of same to objects of Islamic Jihad, ESN has also engaged in revenge violence targeted at members of the security forces for massacring and disappearing several hundreds of defenceless citizens of the Region between August 2015 and Sep 2017. ESN and splinter others carry out ‘periodic barrel of gun protest’ during which Government facilities and some security personnel are attacked leading to wanton destruction of lives and properties and collateral killing of some innocent citizens and maiming and destruction of their properties. Their defensive violent activities are trademarked and do not include indiscriminate humanity/property violence against members of the Southeast defenceless population and their properties except those who fall victim as “collateral victims” or their so-called “enemy-saboteurs”.
For: International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law
- Emeka Umeagbalasi (Criminologist)
- Barr Obianuju Joy Igboeli
Head, Civil Liberties and Rule of Law
- Barr Chidimma Evangeline Udegbunam
Head, Campaign and Publicity
- Comrade Samuel Kamanyaoku (HND)
Head, Field Data Documentation