IPOB, a banned organization seeking independence for the region's ethnic Igbo, and its armed branch Eastern Security Network (ESN) has been accused of the violence, although IPOB has rejected the accusations. According to Amnesty, security forces, including the military, police, and the Department of State Services (DSS) intelligence agency, have murdered scores of gunmen and civilians in the areas where assaults occurred.
“Amnesty International's findings portray a devastating picture of callous excessive force by Nigerian security personnel in Imo, Anambra, and Abia states,” Amnesty International's Nigeria director, Osai Ojigho, was cited as saying by the AFP news agency. In a tweet, the global rights monitor said that it has "recorded at least 115 people murdered by security forces between January and June 2021."
“What is required is an independent and transparent investigation into what occurred and the prosecution of all individuals accused of criminal culpability in fair trials before regular civilian tribunals without resort to the death penalty,” Amnesty said.
Nigerian officials had no quick reaction.
“I am unaware of the comment. As a result, I am unable to respond,” Frank Mba, the national police spokesperson, told AFP. According to Amnesty, families of the victims informed the rights organization that they were not members of the armed groups assaulting security officers.
“Numerous casualties have been deposited in government hospitals in Imo and Abia states,” the statement said. Amnesty also recorded instances of arbitrary detention, ill-treatment, and torture in the restive area. According to the report, the Imo state administration announced the arrest of at least 400 individuals in connection with the incident in May 2021.
“According to Amnesty International's research, the majority of them were arrested at random in their homes or on the street and had nothing to do with ESN.” Local and international human rights organizations have frequently accused Nigerian security forces of human rights violations, but the security forces have consistently denied the allegations.
Nigeria has lately stepped up its assault on separatist agitators, arresting and prosecuting their leaders. According to his attorneys, IPOB leader and founder Nnamdi Kanu was detained in Kenya last month and sent to Nigeria to face treason charges. Kanu's IPOB is trying to resurrect the former Republic of Biafra, whose declaration of independence in 1967 sparked a 30-month civil war. Over one million people, the majority of whom were Igbo, were murdered in the battle or as a result of hunger and illness.