Group petitions US over suit against army

The National Committee of Yoruba Youth (NCYY), a civil society group, has petitioned the US secretary of state over the suit which members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) filed against the army.

The suit was filed by one John Doe under the Torture Victims Protection Act and Alien Tort Claims Act Complaint, before a United States (US) district court for the district of Columbia for a leave on behalf of 10 Biafran agitators to sue Tukur Buratai, the chief of army staff, and 13 others for alleged complicity in the 2016 torture and extra-judicial killings of IPOB members.

However, the group kicked against the suit which it said was intended to demoralise officers and men of the army.

In the petition sent through the US embassy in Lagos, they called on the government of the US to ignore the suit which they described as misplaced and deliberate act of witch hunt of the army leadership.

The petition was signed by Odeyemi Oladimeji, president of NCYY.

The group informed the US government that IPOB had, by its various activities, “become a major opposition to the Nigerian State, particularly to our National Security and by extension to all of our security agencies.”

“IPOB, as you may be aware, seeks to illegally polarise Nigeria, and create a nation within our nation, by continuously declaring the south-eastern part and other territories of southern Nigeria, as the Biafra republic,” the petition read.

“IPOB has become a major opposition to the Nigerian state, particularly to our national security and by extension to all of our security agencies. This group is wont to carry out its activities very much like the violent separatist groups.

“It has a history of instigating violence and hate speeches, against the Nigerian state, and other tribes within the country. We have so many video and audio documentaries to this effect. They are rebellious and have refused to recognise the authority of the states and federal governments. They often block the convoy of security personnel embarking on crucial state assignments and are always ready to do battles with the military.

“It should also be noted that the group leaders (IPOB) are currently standing trial in a case of treasonable felony, in one of Nigeria’s federal high court.”