Sahara Reporters is reporting that some lawyers based in the United States of America have sued Nigerian Army’s chief of staff Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai over alleged killing of some Igbos.
The report says the lawyers were from a United States law firm Fein & DelValle PLLC and they filed the suit against Buratai, Anambra governor Willie Obiano, Abia governor Okezie Ikpeazu and 13 others.
The case was filed at the US District Court for the District of Columbia after the lawyers visited Enugu between Sunday, August 19 and Thursday, August 24 to carry out a research and gather for the Torture Victims Protection Act (TVPA) lawsuit.
The suit, filed on behalf of 10 anonymous plaintiffs, was against alleged extra-judicial killings and torture of Igbo people, Christians, and those with critical political viewpoints.
In the suit, the lawyers, among other things, accused federal government of allegedly endorsing a coalition of Northern groups’ quit notice issued to 11 million Igbo people in North to return to the southeast by 1 October.
“The Government of Nigeria and 19 Northern states have tacitly endorsed the threatened genocide of twice the number exterminated by the Nazis in the Holocaust,” the lawyers alleged.
According to Sahara Reporters, the US District Court has granted the plaintiffs’ motion to proceed anonymously because they reasonably feared lethal retaliation against themselves or families if their identities were revealed.
“Indeed, the Convention Against Torture mandates that signatory nations like the United States and Nigeria prosecute the crimes of torture or extrajudicial killings,” the lawyers stated.
The lawyers say Buratai, Obiano and Ikpeazu are yet to respond to the suit even after 21 days of of being served with the summons.
“We are optimistic about our chances of victory at trial or earlier,” the lawyers said.
The government has however made contact with the law firm in charge of the case.
Meanwhile, it was recently reported that the Nigerian Army in March set up a 7-man “Special Board of Inquiry’’ to probe alleged cases of human rights abuse level against its personnel in the ongoing counter-insurgency operations.
The board, inaugurated by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, would be headed by retired Maj.-Gen. Ahmed Jibrin.