Ezu River: Tales Of Missing Persons As Senators Probe Possible Police Killings; Gov. Obi Ordered Burial of Corpses – CP

Gov. Peter Obi and police commissioner

Two days ago, a joint sitting of two Senate committees meeting in Awka, the Anambra State capital, heard that ten detainees in police custody may have been killed and dumped into the Ezu River at Amansea. Nigerians were horrified when members of the Amansea community raised alarms after finding numerous corpses floating on the Ezu River on January 19, 2013. So far, there has been no official word on the identity of the corpses.

However, witnesses who appeared before the joint committees suggested that the corpses were likely those of detainees killed by officers of the Nigerian Police which is notorious for extra-judicial executions. The senators were told that the police had denied the families of the ten missing persons access to them from October 22, 2012 till now.

The Senate committee on Police Affairs, led by Igwe Paulinus Nwagu, and the committee on Security and Intelligence, led by Mohammed Magoro, held their public hearing Tuesday at the multipurpose hall in Government House, Awka. Among the witnesses was Uwaneke Udegbunam, a lawyer, who narrated the harrowing account of one Chiekezie Obiofor, his client and relative, from Omor town in Ayamelum local government area. Mr. Udegbunam stated that officers of the Anambra Police Command arrested his client on October 22, 2012. According to him, his client and two other men, PraiseGod Ndumanya and Chinwuba Okoye, were taken into custody at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Awkuzu, Oyi local government area.

The lawyer disclosed that the police in Awkuzu initially denied having Mr Obiofor in their custody, but he was assured by a high-level contact that his client was indeed taken to SARS, Awkuzu. Unable to bail his client, he filed a court case November 12, 2012. In court, the police asserted that his client had died, but failed to release his remains.

The lawyer pleaded with the Senate committee to call for all the files submitted by the police to the Anambra State Ministry of Justice which are labeled “Sudden and Untimely Death” (SUD). The files, he said, would help the committee reach the truth about what happened in Amansea and about a culture of extra-judicial killings in Anambra State. Mr. Udegbunam said he stumbled on a case where a dead person supposedly deposited his own body in the morgue, stating that the receipt for morgue payment was issued in the deceased’s name. The lawyer implored the senators to order the police to release the body of his client to assure the man’s family that he was not among those thrown into the Ezu River.

Also testifying before the panel, an official of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) insisted that nine of their members were arrested on November 9, 2012 and had not been allowed access to their families or MASSOB officials.

Uche Madu, MASSOB’s director of information, asserted that they had received information that the police killed their members and dumped them in the river. He told the committee that MASSOB received reports of the extra-judicial killings one week before the bodies were discovered in the river. He added that the denial by the Anambra State Commissioner of Police was untrue.

Asked why it took his organization three weeks to react, Mr. Madu said that they decided to conduct a thorough investigation first, adding that “as long as the bodies are still kept in the morgue, we can still go and identify them.”

Senator Nwagu ruled that MASSOB’s testimony should be documented and asked the movement’s officials to further testify before the Senate committee in Abuja along with the relatives of the deceased.

Testifying earlier, the Anambra State Police Commissioner, the state Commissioner for Health, and the transition chairman for Awka North local government area denied ordering the burial of the floating corpses. The police commissioner, Mr. Nasarawa, told the committee that, after his officers’ arrival at the scene, Governor Peter Obi had directed him to bury the bodies. However, he testified that he told the governor that it was not the duty of the police to bury corpses. The governor then called on the chairman caretaker committee of Awka North local government, who reportedly said it was not the responsibility of her council. The police commissioner then said Mr. Obi ordered both the police and the Awka North council to see that the bodies were buried.

The police commissioner’s testimony at the public hearing sharply contrasted with his earlier claim at the bridge that members of the local community in Amansea had buried the corpses without the knowledge of the police.

When asked at the bridge by Senator Nwagu if blood stains were found on top of the bridge, Mr. Nasarawa simply said, “We have not found any.” His claim surprised reporters who had reported the presence of blood stains when the story broke.

The Enugu State Police Commissioner, Musa Daura, answered in the negative when asked if other communities along the course of Ezu River had been questioned about the corpses.

Horrified members of the Amansea community discovered close to 50 bodies on January 19, 2012. The raised an alarm which prompted the visit of the Anambra State Police Commissioner and, later, the state Commissioner for Local Governments who told the media that Governor Obi was abroad but had been briefed about the dreadful discoveries.

Mr. Obi later visited the scene on January 21 and offered N5 million for anyone with useful information to solve the mystery of the dead bodies. The police confirmed recovery of 18 bodies, out of which three were reportedly taken for autopsy while 15 were said to be buried at the bank of the river, without identification.

However, when Senator Chris Ngige visited the scene on January 24, reporters spotted two bodies and blood stains were seen on the bridge. Residents of Amansea also reported that two other bodies were discovered two days earlier, on January 22.  

On January 28, 2012, pathologists from the Nigeria Police and the Anambra State Government visited the bank of Ezu River in response to public outcry and to media reports about “shocking discoveries” on the three bodies earlier subjected to autopsy. The police and state officials promised to exhume the buried bodies for autopsies as well. In addition, they took away new bodies from the site to an unknown destination.

Many observers were taken aback when the police claimed on Monday that the total number of bodies was 19. That claim was echoed by the Secretary to the state government, Oseloka Obaze, during the Senate’s fact-finding mission on Tuesday.

The Senate hearing has moved to Enugu.

24 comment(s)
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Whatever happened to Habeas

Whatever happened to Habeas Corpus?

Anambra state is mainly

Anambra state is mainly sorrounded by water. We have the river niger, ogbaru/atani river, agulu lake, aguleri/umeleri river and also the Ezu river where the said corpse were found, this is just to mention but a few. Ezu river is in amansea and amansea is a suburb in awka the state capital. Amansea has a common border with ugwuoba in enugu state and this ugwuoba is populated by Hausa-fulanis. There's a popular cattle market in ugwuoba where they (northerners) do their 'normal' business. Knowing what the northerners are capable of doing to Ndigbo (the '66-1970 incidence is still very fresh in our memories), it will be wrong to write them off from any investigation relating to this barbaric incident. This is not the only river in anambra state so one should be skeptical why it happened at the Ezu river. Obi and the state police boss should be investigated properly. I for one has never trusted that feminine voice tone of the governor. No stone should be left unturned!

Ezu River bodies

When we told you not to rig for Jonathan & PDP, blind sentiments overtook your brains. When we told you that Boko Haram was the consequences of PDP rule which created large troops of thugs that later on swelled the rsnks of a band of fanatics you did not believe.When General Ijejerika who is Jonathan's and PDP's chief foot soldire allowed extrajudicial killings in Borno & Yobe you clapped for him.There is a Hausa saying which says that who ever plants a thorn tree would only harvest thorns and nothing else! Can the Igbos learn from all this; I doubt but hopefull!

Sack entire Nigerian police

I have always advocated that the entire Nigerian policemen and women be sacked immediately. I obviously don't know where Nigeria is going with the kind of rickety police we have. You cannot call them for help and the come. We don't even have emergency numbers like 911 or 999. We have absolutely nothing. I don't know how people survive in Nigeria. Anyone can die at anytime. We are talking about dead bodies in a certain river and uptill now no arrest or suspension. I'm sick and tired of this country. It's a big mess. I enjoy my life here in Ghana. Make una carry una Nigeria commot my way please.

Can we have the Truth

The Governor was wrongly advised, that is if he instructed anyone to bury the bodies. If the Police are suspects then their Pathologist should not be performing the autopsy. What is life really worth in our country Nigeria? If a Nigerian was killed in Europe or North America our so called Senators and Reps will be on junkets to such places shouting from roof tops, but 18 to 50 corpses have been found in a river and no one thinks its important enough. Why are the Police still arresting people without warrants? It is the impunity inherent in our country that allows such iniquities. This is a crime, so why does a governor want the evidence buried?

On the killings of Innocent Nigerians

@Wahala. Before I go on with my contribution, a piece of advice for you: please look up the profile of Gov Peter Obi and educate yourself properly before labeling him illiterate. No sir, he is no illiterate. In fact, he parades one of the best qualifications among all the governors.

The Governor, he may have acted based on the information/misinformation available at the time and who are the ones informing him but the same people responsible for their death? So, it is in the interest of the police to misinform him.

All said, I wonder when we will begin to value human lives in this nation? How can we just waste innocent people like this? I call them innocent because that's what they are until a court of law proves otherwise.

The Police should know that their attitude towards the people is a major disservice to them and shape up, please!


Peter Obi is the elected Governor of Anambra State,he MUST provide an answer,he ordered mass burial without extracting DNA or photographic evidence.
Even if Peter was a trader,he cannot claim ignorance,he went through university education,that order to hastily bury those bodies without proper identification means that justice is about to be obstructed.
The bodies must be exhumed and DNA extracted and independently stored,the international red-cross should be called in,these are our people,it really saddens me.That Hausa Commissioner of Police should be removed to make sure that the investigation is not jeopardised.

Police institutions are racist and occult evil

Police institutions are racist and ocult evil in all over the world talk less of nigeria where they will kill without any provocation. It is quite disturbing that organised criminal institutions like police were giving guns and power to kill innoncent people. Police have become the worst terrorist institutions giving power to terrorise innoncent people. What makes nigeria going agog today is the extra judicial killing by police going across nigeria today.Ant life have been valued more than human being life in nigeria what a mess we found ourselves today in nigeria.For me it is high time police be disbounded in nigeria because we are better off with police in nigeria as to keeep them, they are doing nothing instead they collaborate with and sponsor rubbers and train them to be more active in their terrorist activities.

@Wahala .... big respect !!!.....Otile & Akpos 1 ... booh !booh

@Wahala ... I doff my hat for your boldness as an Igboman to condemn this horrible act in SE. That's the clear difference between you and tribal idiots such as Otile and Akpos 1 who see the speck of dust in the eyes of other ethnic groups but pretend about the log of wood in theirs.

Otile & Apkos 1 are only after the oil of the SS and in their sick minds dream of a fraudulent amalgamation of the SS with SE into a republic. You will never find them express concern on very serious welfare issues such as this Ezu River story affecting the commoners.

There is no doubt that Governor Obi knows more about this mass murder as he is more interested in cover up through mass burial than investigation of the killing and getting justice for the common man.

Some tribal fools pretend as if they don't know that the real enemies of Nigeriams are the collection of ex-khaki boys and their surrogates who cut across all the ethnic groups, religion and political parties.

Emu River: tales of missing persons

Shame on the so called leaders of Ndigbo - governors and Ohanaeze. I bet nobody can do this to OPC members and get away with it. Does anyone need to go to the oracle to know who are responsible for these abominable killings. Nature has a way of taking care of things. If those who parade themselves as representatives of Ndigbo do not stand up for their people, they cannot prevent the people from protecting themselves and my fear is that when that happens both the so called leaders and the perpetrators of the atrocities may not find a hiding place.

Igbo kwenu! kwenu Kwenu

Enough is enough. This killings should stop happening in our land, we cannot call ourself the Jews of Africa, agitate for separation, but cannot be our brothers keeper. We need to rise up and fight for our dead brothers, God will not come down and fight our course, the politicians are too busy stealing and aggrandising hence no respite from them. we need to solve matters with our own hands and fight the ills in our society. This killing should not be buried or else the spirit of those that died will not hunt there killers but those of us that did nothing. If we indeed do nothing , You, Me, our families and our children will be next. Igbo kwenu! kwenu, Kwenu

the black race is cursed, but

the black race is cursed, but for nigerians, it's hellish damnation


The impunity of the Nigerian Police must be checked,why on earth must a detained suspect be denied legal representation or family visit?Why are we Ndigbo seen as people whose lives can always be taken without consequences in this damned union.
The last time I checked,the MASSOB carried out their agitations in a non-violent manner so what part of the Nigerian constitution forbids a man from exercising self determination?
The Police under the Present IG Abubakar gave the impression that it was going through reforms but this recent suspicions surrounding these bodies is extremely worrisome.There was no community disputes so tens of bodies cannot just turn up on a river,that scene was an orchestrated act of impunity by forces outside those communities.The Police will simply deny but this time we must see the end in a conclusive manner,this brutality must be explained so the IG must wade into this case,Igbo lives are not cheap.



Extra-judiciary Killings not New to Naijas

Omata Gov. Peter Obi should be investigated for murder. Shikena. If MOSSOB detainees are missing from Police custody, then Peter Obi's hasty ordering of mass burial for the "floating dead" is suspicious. The arrogant and illitrate trader-turned-politician has blood on his hands if he interferred with police/senate investigation of the incident by ordering burial of the corpses before conclusive investigation was done. Peter Obi is a sadistic fraud and imposter. A stingy crook who'd murder a pick-pocket for eying his wallet. He's a gullible sell-out in servitude to the PDP and Dumbo. A thug and major disgrace to Anambra State. The monie-miss-road stingy clown is still living with his mother! Oloshi.

If Peter Obi is innocent of the killings, let him equally order the police to allow relatives of detainees visit their kin in custody ...if they're still alive. Extra-judiciary killings is what earned us the Boko Haram, yet, they never learn. Animals!


PDP has destroyed both Nigerian Army,Nigerian Police as well as SSS. These agencies have been dragged into rigging quagmire. You need to see their barbaric faces in the world camera where they're snapped thumb-printing ballot papers for their mother(PDP) ink stains all over their body. Since then these security agencies were made to believe in serving PDP not Nigeria. Irresponsible get-rich-quick any-how elements have been recruited into the agencies. The army cannot fight domestic militancy while the police become colleagues of the criminals and SSS become extra-judicial elimination garbage.


Is shameful that things like this is happening in a contry that called himself giant of Africa.
Can you imagine 30 dead bodies floting on the river and there is no tangible investigation fron the police, or the police were accused to be the killer, what a shame!!!
killing human as if they are animals, shamless blood suckers. All the things you did that's gonna hurt you. Morons

That the Igbo nation has not

That the Igbo nation has not assembled at Presidential or Concord hotel Enugu and Owerri to fully demand why their sons will be slaughtered and dumped in a river in the heart of Igboland tells a lot about the kind of leaders Igbos are parading, and Peter Obi may turn out to be the greatest enemy of the Igbos

Gov Obi & The Commissioner of Police have info to give

In a sane society, Gov. Peter Obi and the Anambra state Commissioner of Police would have queries to answer. Like Dele Giwa said, the evil that men do, will ultimately be re-dressed, either by man or by God, either soon or later.

Political Conspiracy

The duck is coming home to rooste, the evil that men do will surely surface. In my earlier comment in other medium, i implored the investigating agencies to cast wide their search especially SAR Awkuzu and Gov. Obi. These corpses are political opponents, kidnappers, armed robbers etc. the menence of Obi´s thugs on his Apga opposing camp and his penchante to use police especially sar awkuzu to silence differing voices, the comment of the sar officer who said that Anambra is in relative peace now, calls for more question.

There is no point in dispersing attention by promise of 5 million and crocodile tears, The governor as the chief security officer should not be exnoreted forget his school boy looks.

Police and bokoharam are one

Can somebody explain why police will arrest bokoharam and parade them with designers clothing to the media?can somebody explain why police authority will arrest bokoharam leaders and withing a twinkle of an eye they will escape from detention?this answer,is police are bokoharam.they cant keep their own in detention.when the police are posted to the north to fight bokoharam they will refuse or run away.but they are brave enough to kill armless massob who want a peaceful disintegration.

Police Responsible for the killing

The Police are the one dumping these bodies in the river. When somebody is arrested and taken to police station, u are meant to remove all your clothe and go into the cell with your boxers/shot and if possible shirt and these corpse are just with their boxers and shirt. From all the report I have read so far, these are victims of police killing. They must have been strangled and tortured to death by hanging their feet up and their head down and it will take a while for them to die or kill them with generator fume since no gunshot wound is found on any of them and being in police custody they must have submitted themselves to any kind of order. You remember the Apo Five and how they killed the two surviving ones after the shooting. The Police also killed their fellow policeman because he was from the south east with the Apo Five in other to hide evidence.
"IT TAKES SO MANY LIES TO COVER JUST ONE LIE"-So the police must have killed these people to cover-up a VERY SERIOUS CRIME.

The real Boko Haram

It is now clear who the real Boko Haram are. The blood thirty and aimless individuals whose gospel is but death and destruction. They contribute only in extra-judicial killing of human race. This is outrageous. The autrocities are too much. The almighty will surely expose you as you are bent on destroying the nation's invaluable and non-renewable asset- north and south, left right and centre.

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