The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) yesterday denied having any hand in the abduction, killing and burying of some Hausa/Fulani in Abia State as alleged by the Department of State Services (DSS).
In a statement by the Media and Publicity Secretary of IPOB, Mr. Emma Powerful, the group alleged the DSS has been trying every means to blackmail them in order to prove their case before the courts against its leader, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu.
He noted that the DSS and the Federal Government, before now, labelled IPOB as a terrorist group.
“The DSS is going about fabricating lies in order to influence the judges in the upcoming appeal hearing. The Nigerian government are the ones killing us, yet, they are now lying that we killed Hausa people.
“How come it is now that Judge Tsoho is being disgraced with facts that this nonsense is coming up? IPOB totally rejects this amateurish smear campaign by the DSS.
“How did DSS come to the conclusion that it was IPOB members who perpetrated the said crime? Why was it so easy to identify the five Hausa/Fulani by their names while they were not unable to identified the name of at least one person out of 50 other victims? Are they saying that only Hausa/Fulani people can easily be identified by their names?
“Who conducted the ‘arrest and the investigation,’ when was it done, where is the pictorial and video claims of DSS in comparison to pictures and video footages provided by IPOB when they killed dozens of Biafrans on February 9, 2016?” IPOB queried rhetorically.
In a related development, Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) has debunked the DSS’ allegation.
The DSS had, last Saturday, accused members of IPOB of involvement in kidnappings and killings and also alleged that the group killed five Hausa-Fulani men and buried them in a shallow grave at a forest called Umuanyi. Later, the DSS, in a statement, said they had taken over the forest.
But, MASSOB has debunked the allegation.
In a telephone chat, MASSOB Director of Information, Sunny Okereafor said the group or IPOB, as a matter of policy, do not carry arms and have not been violent in their agitations and, therefore could not be associated with killings.
Okereafor alleged the DSS, perhaps out lack of enough evidence to prosecute IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu and other MASSOB members arrested over the years, resorted to such spurious allegation to tag IPOB and other pro-Biafra groups terrorist organisations in order to have reason for their continued detention.
“You know, in Nigeria, when they want to kill a dog, they give it a bad name and that is what DSS is trying to do.
“Everybody knows that MASSOB, IPOB or other pro-Biafra groups do not carry arms and they are not terrorist organisations…”
Okereafor alleged that, “about three or so years ago, they killed 85 of our members and dumped them in Isu River, in Oyi Local Government of Anambra State.
“In February this year, soldiers killed eight members of IPOB and made away with their corpses.
“If it is true that the DSS discovered 55 identified persons said to have been buried in shallow graves at Umuanyi forest, after proper investigations, they will be shocked to find out that the corpses are those of our members killed by Nigeria security operatives and buried there,” he said.