31 January 2013

Nigeria: NBA Sets Up Panel to Probe Ezzu River Bodies

Photo: Capital FM
Police line.

Abuja — The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, yesterday, expressed its determination to get to the root of the mystery surrounding the 18 dead bodies that were on January 19 discovered at River Ezzu which runs through Enugu and Anambra States.

National President of the legal body, Chief Okey Wali, SAN, who made the disclosure in Abuja, yesterday, said the association had already constituted a committee with a mandate to closely monitor investigations currently being conducted into the matter by security agencies.

Wali said: "Whenever we remember our yesteryears, we lament our fate. We must move away, and very quickly, from lamenting our fate and find durable and lasting solutions. We cannot continue in this state of affairs, with daily loss of lives and properties. Just recently, on January 19, 2013, there was an attack on the life of the Emir of Kano which led to the death of five of his aides. May their souls rest in peace. This is how bad the situation is.

"On Saturday, January 19, 2013, the people of Amansea Community in Anambra State, reportedly woke up to find 18 bodies floating on River Ezzu, a River that runs through many Enugu and Anambra States Communities and empties into the River Niger. I understand that 4 more bodies were later found on the River.

"Nobody, I repeat, nobody to date, has accounted for who they are and how they came floating on the river. This is happening in 2013 Nigeria, what a shame!

"The Nigerian Bar Association is determined to get to the root of this ugly incident and so, I have set-up a committee, headed by the 1st Vice President of Nigerian Bar Association and Chairman of Nigerian Bar Association Human Rights Committee, Mr O.J. Irahbor, with former Chairman of Abakaliki branch of Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Tony Okah, as secretary, to very closely follow up the investigations by the security agencies."

....As CLO accuses Police of complicity


Southeast Zone of the Civil Liberties Organisation, CLO, has accused the police in Anambra State of alleged complicity in the killing and dumping of about 30 corpses in Ezzu river in the state.

In a petition to President Goodluck Jonathan, the CLO also asked the Federal Government to investigate the matter, pointing out that the discovery of corpses in the river at Amansea had been causing anxiety in the area.

The petition entitled, "Re: Killing and dumping of 20 human corpses in Ezzu River Amansea, Anambra State, by men of Anambra State Special Anti- Robbery Squad, SARS, Awkuzu, portends danger to the image and security of the country," and dated January 28, 2013, was signed by the Zonal Director of CLO in the area, Mr Olu Omotayo said.

It noted that although the police in the state claimed there were no gun shot wounds or other forms of injuries on the dead bodies, a report posted on internet revealed that the corpses were riddled with bullet wounds, just as there were blood drops and stains on the bridge and the path to the Ezzu river.

According to the CLO, "this clearly contradicts the claim by the Commissioner of Police, Anambra State, that there was no mark of violence on the bodies."

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