The former Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, has been dragged to the International Criminal Court by the families of six soldiers who were allegedly secretly tried and executed by the Nigerian Army in Abuja, according to their lawyer.
The lawyer, Barrister E. R. Okoroafor, who spoke with SahareReporters noted that the army authorities and Buratai would be served the court papers in the coming week.
He further stated that he was at the ICC in the Hague, the Netherlands, where he personally filed the suit, he added that he does not expect the military to admit the development.
Recall that a coalition of civil societies in the South-East on Monday alleged that six soldiers, attached to the Armoury Department of the Mogadishu Cantonment, Asokoro, otherwise known as Abacha Barracks, Abuja, were secretly tried and executed under Buratai’s watch.
Emeka Umeagbalasi, the Board Chair, International Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law and Prof Anthony Ejiofor-Chairman of the World Igbo Congress in the United States, among others, had signed the report saying that the soldiers, of South-East extraction, were not given a fair hearing before their alleged execution.
The affected soldiers were identified as Prince Ukwuoma, Ebube Isaiah, Amos Azubuike, Ekene Ebere, Moses Anyim and Godwin Uchendu.
The Nigerian Army in its reaction to the development described the report as “fake news” and “malicious publication.”
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig-Gen Sagir Musa, described the accusation as “gutter news” but failed to give details of the whereabouts of the soldiers and what truly transpired.
The lawyer representing the families, Okoroafor, who spoke from the United States and noted that he was in Abuja only last week, stated that he stood by his claims and he did not expect the army to accept the claims.
Okoroafor said, “I do not expect them to own up. As a matter of fact, when they denied the Obigbo massacre but between then and now, we have been able to bring out 100 victims.”
“As I speak now, I am at the Hague at the ICC and we are filing a case against them. They should come and tell us at the ICC. We have evidence already against them. They are known for denials.”
“I am in contact with family members. I was actually contacted by one of the brothers of the slain soldiers. But because of the porousness of the country, we don’t want to expose them to unnecessary harm.”
“When we get to ICC, we are going to present their family members. We filed the case on Thursday. Before next week, they will be properly served.”
Source: Naija News