The Biafra Post | December 12, 2017

A yearly prison scorecard has shown that hundreds of inmates awaiting trial across southsouth/southeast were hurriedly tried and executed by the Nigerian government in 2017. The report could not determine if a select people of select crime committed were targeted but noted that capital punishment were given to all - death by hanging. 99% percent of condemned people are indigenes of Biafra.

Nigerian government is executing hundreds of people in a year across two specific political regions that have no instability or hostile situation. This is even coming at the back of international campaign to end capital punishment which is considered outdated. Executions in the South remain a shock as in the North where terrorism and crime thrives; number of execution for the year 2017 is minimal.

Since three years ago when Radio Biafra hit Nigerian airwaves Nigeria has not remained the same and the subsequent arrest of the director of Radio Biafra heated the polity to its maximum. Southern part of Nigeria lost its cool as protests were recorded in every nook and cranny of the old eastern region. The quest for the restoration of Biafra was resurrected by the avoidable arrest of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra.

Slowly; sympathy began to set and overwhelmed the people; on the streets of Southsouth/southeast, the issue of Biafra became the primary topic till date. Biafra agitation seems to be a thorn in the flesh of Muhammadu Buhari’s government whilst the President was apportioned huge blame for igniting the agitation or giving it momentum. Beside the arrest of the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra; the interview which captured the President saying that he would give 5% attention to the south that did not vote him stoked up flame of division.

In reaction to the protest and civil disobedience which became major weapons of IPOB against a certified murderous regime, the regime unleashed her military and police, leaving a peaceful region in fear. Many human rights institutions have voiced out what they described as regime atrocities and called for action against the government for its crime against humanity on the people of Biafra.

Forceful disappearance; incessant arrest, murder and torture championed the clamp down ordered by the government of Muhammadu Buhari against the Southern part of Nigeria. Amnesty International has decried disturbing disappearance of citizens while IPOB claimed thousands of her members have been abducted, killed and imprisoned.

Recently; the general controller of Nigerian prisons was reported to have said that prisons across southsouth and southeast have gone beyond their capacities. He further noted that inmates can no longer live fine and admitting more inmates became a thing of worry. Prisons across southsouth and southeast are filled up and this confession gave credence to the claim by IPOB. The controller further made obvious the clamp down which has resulted to arrest and unlawful detention of the people of Biafra.

Reacting to this; Muhammadu Buhari ordered the judiciary to facilitate the release of inmates that were unlawfully detained and awaiting trial. He gave the directive in response to the position of the controller of Nigerian prisons and also trending pictures of Inmates dying of Kwashiorkor in prisons across southsouth and southeast.

When an independent investigator visited Onitsha Prison he submitted documents of what he tagged man’s inhumanity against man and urged for state of emergency to be declared on Nigerian prisons. Onitsha prison as a point of reference has a capacity of Three Hundred and Fifty(350) Inmates but in 2017, the prison reached an all time high of more than a Thousand. A follow-up showed that the minimum over-capacity of the prison is Eight Hundred plus.

In Onitsha prison alone; scores were executed in 2017, with five people condemned in one case by hanging after a judge found them guilty of the crime as charged. The high rate of execution across southsouth and southeast is seen as a purge and to minimize over-filled prisons.
Further investigation showed that 95% percent of inmates are awaiting trial across the prisons in Southsouth and southeast. When an inmate was asked to score the judgment so far against their colleagues by a contracted independent investigator, he said;

“We in the prison know who did what he did but at the end of the day, people die for or get lifer for what they did not do. The rate people are being condemned is worrisome and those condemned don’t usually have money for good lawyers. They are bundled to court and brought back here and we get the news that they will be condemned, quite frightful”

Meanwhile; due to the over-capacity of the prisons across southsouth and southeast, the inmates can no longer feed as they rely on what visitors, family and friends brought to them. In Delta state, Ogwashiukwu prison; when our independent investigator visited, he found out that most prisoners are dying of mal-nutrition and survive only by what they are given from outside. Those that came from poor families end up relying on prison food which instead of keeping them alive take away their lives.

“We have what is called Chakpaa; it’s our food here, it’s a watery soup, it’s not edible, the beans and anything they cooked here is chakpaa. We are just suffering; just pray you don’t come here because we are in purgatory and not prison”.

The high rate of execution is targeted at solving the problem of filled prisons across southsouth and southeast. The question remains; how much can executing people do in solving a problem the system caused.
“Nigeria cannot solve Biafra agitation issue by imprisoning and condemning inmates in the region” the independent investigator concluded.

By Ifeanyi Chijioke - TBP

Editor/Publisher: Chinwe Korie
Reach Chinwe for your articles via;
Twitter: @ckorie17


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