A coalition, Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC), has sent a petition to the International Criminal Court prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, urging the court to investigate, arrest and prosecute persons connected with the gruesome murders, grievous bodily harm and assault of indigenes of Rivers State during the 2015 general election in the state.
In a petition signed by its chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju, the coalition stated that the Nigerian Government had consistently failed to carry out its constitutional role in unravelling criminal mysteries and ensuring that criminals are adequately punished, hence the need for the petition to the court.
While stating that the defection of former Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, and several other citizens of Rivers State from the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to All Progressives Congress (APC) which was the then opposition party, triggered unprecedented threats, aggressions and breakdown of law and order, days leading to the election from both parties, the network stressed that federal might was deployed to deal severely and ruthlessly with people considered to be in opposition.
“The wife of former president, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, was fingered in misuse of state apparatus and abuse of power during campaigns, resulting in the wanton killings and infliction of grievous bodily harm on several citizens in Rivers State,” CSNAC stated in the petition.
“Journalists on professional assignment were not spared in a wanton destruction of properties, disruption of campaigns and attack on human persons.
“The various criminal acts were perpetrated with alleged support of Dame Patience Jonathan, wife of the former president. The said onslaught was allegedly coordinated by AIG Mbu Joseph Mbu, the Assistant Inspector General of Police, (then Commissioner of Police in charge of Rivers State Command) and Deputy Commissioner of Police John Amadi now posted to Nigerian Railways Corporation, Lagos (then the Deputy Commissioner in charge of Operations in Rivers State).
“Besides the aforementioned, several other persons were also alleged to have instigated and induced the politically motivated killings and violence against innocent citizens and known opposition members and in some instances directly procured and financed the execution of the crimes.”
CSNAC noted that in the mayhem, over hundred people were brutally murdered. Some were inflicted with grievous bodily harm while others were unlawfully arrested and detained by the Nigerian Police in collusion with the perpetrators of these crimes.
The group listed Felix Amaechi Obuah, State Chairman of the PDP; Chris Onyiri; Henry Ogiri, Executive Director Finance, Niger Delta Development Commission; Tammy Danagogo, former Minster of Sports; Olaka Johnson Nwogu, senator representing Rivers South East, among others as perpetrators of the crimes.
Others listed are:
1. Ejor Ejor of OnneEleme
2. Betty Apiafi, member House of Representatives
3. Evans Bipi, member, Rivers State House of Assembly
4. Mashall Uwom, member, Rivers State House of Assembly
5. Monday Ngbor
6. Jack Rowland Sekibo
7. Austin Opara, Former Speaker-House of Representatives
8. Ibiba Walter
9. Kenneth Kobani, now Secretary to Rivers State Government
10. Ateke Tom
11. Soboma Jackress, member, Rivers State House of Assembly
12. EjimaIgwedibia aka Don Wanni
13. Chi – Boy
14. Bright Ernest Ake
15. Nkasi alias Italian Soldier or Italian, aka Isiokpo Italian
16. Omono – a Oliver aka DoinDoin
19. Samuel Nwanosike alias Ishi
20. Sunny Bekanwa
21. Solomon Ndigbara
22. Barile Jack
23. Israel Mgboele, Rivers State House of Assembly
Similarly, the group listed names of victims of political violence who lost their lives pre, during and post-election assassinations as compiled and published by the State Chapter of All Progressives Congress. They include the followings:
2. Corporal IfeanyiOkorie
3. Charles Eruku
4. Mr. MebakaOpuogoliya
5. Chief John Adube
6. Joy Adube
7. Mr. Lucky Adube
8. Mr. EbukaMbamalu
9. Mr. IkechukwuOgarebe
10. Mr. Ezekiel
11. Mr. Sampson Chinnah
12. Mr. KerianWobodo
13. Mr. Charles Wobodo amongst others.
“Sadly, the Nigerian government has displayed nonchalant commitment to seeking redress for the victims and, punishment for the perpetrators of the crimes. More than 10 months after the election, no individual or group has been reportedly investigated, arrested or prosecuted for these grievous crimes.
“CSNAC is by this petition requesting that your office conducts a thorough investigation into these alleged crimes against humanity as well as prosecute persons found culpable.
The Nigerian Government has consistently failed to carry out its constitutional role in unravelling criminal mysteries and ensuring that criminals are adequately punished.
“Nigeria’s highest court recently affirmed the outcomes of flawed election. Local and international observers of the Rivers elections severally confirmed the unimaginable rate of violence visited on the electorate.
“The Supreme Court’s judgment is tantamount to legitimizing electoral violence, anarchy and abuse of power. Rule of law and justice is sacrosanct to the establishment of a peaceful and sane society. Therefore, allowing these crimes go unpunished will plunge the society into anarchy and doom.
“We urge your office to take appropriate action to forestall an ugly situation. This request is in the line of your promise, via a statement issued days leading to the 2015 election, promising to bring perpetrators of violence or any other act covered in the Rome Statute to justice under the ICC,” the CSNAC stated.