"His Excellency Chief Willie Obiano Has Serious Questions to Answer to the ICC for Pro- Biafra Genocidal Killings in Anambra State"


By Okpalaezenri Chukwuemeka I. Onyesoh


Governor Willie Obiano is one of the 16 defendants in the civil claims suit on IPOB killings - John Doe, et al v. Tukur Yusuf Buratai et al, Civil Action No. 1:17-cv-01033 before a Washington DC Court.
 But the more worrisome issue is the Governor's alleged complicity in acts of genocide on the very people he was elected to provide for their security and welfare; and whose
mandate he is now seeking to renew on 18th November 2017, Anambra State gubernatorial elections.

Article 3 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, defines
the crimes that can be punished under the convention and specifically in 3(e) includes complicity in genocide. Nigeria acceded to the Genocide Convention on 27th July 2009 and is therefore bound by its provisions.

The record of genocide committed by the Nigerian Army, Police, and Navy in Anambra State is as follows:
30th August 2015 - 4 demonstrators killed in Awka;
2nd December 2015 - 13 killed in Onitsha;
17th December 2015 - 15 killed in Onitsha;
29th & 30th May 2016 - above 140 killed at Nkpor, Onitsha, and Asaba during the Biafra 
Heroes Anniversary of those who were killed fighting the 1967-70 Biafra war. Court papers 
show that the Anambra State Governor presided over the State Security Council meeting which 
authorized the Security Agencies to forcefully stop the Biafra Anniversary celebrations; and that the Governor

mobilized the operations. Apart from those killed over 370 were also reported to have been mortally incapacitated with gunshot wounds.

In spite of the condemnations of the Governor's unfortunate role in that massacre of unarmed demonstrators;  even after the Civil Claims suit had been filed in Washington DC, and served on him, Chief Obiano's only reaction to his alleged complicity in genocide, is what he termed "unreserved apology" to IPOB members, which he announced on Wednesday, 9th August 2017 his official residence at Amawbia; and in the absence of families of dead victims or survivors! An unreserved apology is light years below what a Governor or head of Government is indeed ordinarily supposed to do in the circumstances of such horrible Massacre of his subjects.
1. He is supposed to make a broadcast regretting and/or condemning the killings;
2. State law requires that the Governor should set up a judicial commission of inquiry into the killings, to determine the cause and find ways and means of avoiding a repeat; and
3. In such circumstances as his, where the Governor is alleged as being complicit, he is supposed to pay condolence visits to all the families of victims and atone for the atrocities by making very
substantial payments in reparations to the families of dead victims and/or survivors.

Let us look at what other heads of governments in Nigeria have done in circumstances where they were not even party to this extra-judicial killings, otherwise, the crime against humanity:

In 2005, June 5, "Apo Six" extra-judicial killing of 5 young Igbo traders and their Bini girlfriend by Police Officers, President Olusegun on 25th of the same June 2005, promptly appointed Justice O.O. Goodluck judicial panel. The judicial commission report came out in August 2005 and President Obasanjo promptly apologized to the families of the "Apo Six" Police killings, after paying 3million Naira to each family for funeral expenses.

On December 12-14, 2015, the convoy of Nigeria's Army Chief of Staff, Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai reportedly shot and killed over 1,045 Shiite Moslems in a religious procession in Zaria. In Jan. 2017, Governor Mallam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai, although a sympathizer of the Sunni Moslem onslaught against the Shiites, promptly appointed a judicial commission of enquiry made up of impartial lawyers, jurists, scholars of Religion, human rights activists, security experts and media practitioners who by August 2016 returned a verdict in its report which indicted the Army of use of excessive force that led to at least 348 deaths. That report assisted in no small measure in a court ruling against the Federal Government on the Shiite killings.

Again on June 6, 2017, AREWA youths 'Quit Notice' saga, Governor Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai, reacted as a Governor should, when, from wherever he was outside Nigeria, he ordered the arrest of givers of that obviously genocidal order, in spite of his apparent involvement in most Caliphate conspiracies. 

Governor Obiano, apart from failing in the discharge of his oath of office, also came very short in meeting minimal standards of reparation in Igbo traditional liability in even, accidental killing (Remember the Okonkwo episode in Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart"):

(a) The party responsible for the cause of death would relocate from the community for at least one lunar year;
(b) On return, he is required to perform ablution (ikpu alu) - cleansing the earth of the abominable act of taking live only God gives; and finally
(c) Reparations to the family of victims.

In the case of the families of not less than 150 Anambra dead victims and close to 300 torture survivors, not a condolence visit nor a word/reparation came from Governor Obiano. 
What is more, I am informed from the law firm handling the Civil Claims suit in Washington DC that since June 2017, the suit was filed and the Governor was subsequently served, HE Obiano has not considered it worth his while to seek to settle this matter of his alleged complicity in extrajudicial killing of Anambra citizens before asking Anambra citizens for a renewal of his mandate in the Nov. 18, 2017, gubernatorial elections.

I consider it material that Anambra people should assess by his reaction in the above circumstances, what values people in government attach to lives no one except God can give, before casting their votes in the next election.

Besides, the genocidal killing of Igbo youths is moving from civil proceedings in a Washington Court to criminal investigations in Geneva and possible prosecution in the International Criminal 
The court in The Hague. Not even Heads of State have immunity before ICC!

Publisher:   Prince Richmond C. Amadi 

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