Inter-communal movements were disrupted, forcing several residents to flee their homes into the forests or to neighbouring friendly villages.
A civic organisation, the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law, otherwise known as Intersociety, has narrated in its latest report how operatives of the Nigerian Army invaded Egudene-Ekpofu community in the Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State, killing two residents.
According to the report sent to SaharaReporters on Wednesday, the group revealed that the soldiers during an operation on December 24, 2021, invaded some churches in the community and disrupted their Christmas Eve services.
It was also reported that inter-communal movements were disrupted, forcing several residents to flee their homes into the forests or to neighbouring friendly villages.
Intersociety alleged that soldiers attached to the 82 Division also killed two defenceless citizens including a 13-year old boy, Master Arum from Ohuakpaka Quarters who was shot and killed when his parents’ bedroom and its doors were broken into.
The other victim was a middle-age man whose corpse was dumped at Obodo Nnemede Nwannaji near Onokolo Ode in the community.
“The soldiers of the Nigerian Army had between forbidden hours of 24th and 25th Night of December 2021 invaded Egudene-Ekpofu in Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State and raided popular squares and quarters and several family houses during which Christmas Eve Church services and intra and inter communal movements were disrupted, forcing several citizens of the community to flee their homes into the forests or across their neighbouring friendly villages.
“The soldiers also during the operation attacked and raided houses and destroyed properties including doors, windows, electronics, etc; disrupted sleep, assaulted married and unmarried women and woke children from their sleep and traumatised them.
“The soldiers of the Nigerian Army under Enugu 82 Division also killed two defenceless citizens including a 13-year old boy (Master Arum from Ohuakpaka Quarters) who was shot and killed when his parents’ bedroom and its doors were broken into and as he was running helplessly for his dear life, the soldiers opened fire on him at close range and killed him instantly. The soldiers also shot and killed a yet-to-be middle-age man whose corpse was dumped at Obodo Nnemede Nwannaji near Onokolo Ode in the Community.
“As if the above dastardly acts were not enough, the soldiers also sighted a palm wine tapper on a palm tree and opened fire. He is presently admitted at the Enugu Specialist Hospital. Not done, the soldiers accosted another up-wine (palm) tapper and dispossessed him of his 5 gallons of up-wine valued at N25,000. His name is Chigozie Obushi.
“Through the use of threatened and terrified locals as “informants” who were forced to show them the dwelling houses of the community’s young men of productive age bracket (20-50 years), the soldiers attacked and invaded several houses that same late night of 24th/25th December 2021 and abducted scores from their sleep. Also not spared were the late night Christmas returnees and those returning from Christmas Eve Church services as well as those attending Christmas morning Church services.”
Intersociety added that contrary to a statement by the Nigerian Army Director of Public Relations, Brig Gen Onyema Nwachukwu that soldiers arrested a wanted notorious ESN commander in the community, “the man being detained is an unarmed 40-year-old mason who was abducted from his rest and sleep following his sick-rest arising from work related stress and pains.”
“By a detailed investigation carried out by the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law and contrary to the Nigerian Army claims, the so called “ESN Commander”, identified by the Army as “Godwin Nnamdi”, is a 40 year-old mason and struggling father of two children. His true name is Godwin Nnaji (not Godwin Nnamdi).
“His other identities are; he hails from Umuode Ega Kindred of Egudene in Ajame Amaeze Autonomous community, Ekpofu in Nkanu East, Enugu State. He struggles to feed himself, his wife and two children. Abducted and falsely labelled Nnaji is married to Mrs. Blessing Nnaji (nee Nnaji) from Ogonogo-Eji Ndiagu Akpugo Autonomous Community in Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State.
“He was abducted from his rest and sleep following his sick-rest arising from work related stress and pains. He had taken some pain relief tablets and was sleeping when soldiers stormed his family house at about 12:21am on the Christmas Eve/early morning of 25th December 2021 and abducted him. Present in the family’s dwelling house during his abduction were his mother-Madam Theresa Nnaji and two of his siblings including his blind younger brother, Onyema Nnaji who was also rough-handled and assaulted.
“Nnaji was fallaciously labelled “ESN Commander” because a bangle with ‘rising sun’ insignia was found on him. The soldiers later took him alongside other abductees to the 82 Division Headquarters in Enugu through Inyaba River into Oruku town and drove to their 82 Division Headquarters through Emene. After his abduction, Nnaji was bundled alongside others to Onokolo Market Square in the Community where he was mercilessly beaten and stripped half naked.
“He has been located to be detained at ‘Galaxy Detention Camp’ of the 82 Division in Enugu and one of his younger brothers who went to see him was denied access by the lady Army officer in charge who said she is under superior instructions not to allow him to be visited or seen by anybody. Therefore, the claims by the Nigerian Army highlighted above are circumstantially fallacious and trademark of the Nigerian security forces particularly the Nigerian Army with which they have framed, abducted and killed hundreds of defenceless and unarmed citizens of Southeast and South-south Nigeria especially between October 2020 and December 2021.
“As a matter of fact and uttermost immediacy and inexcusability, Citizen Godwin Nnaji must be freed unconditionally; likewise others abducted and being held captive by the soldiers of the 82 Division in Enugu. The Nigerian Army must also let the affected communities particularly Egudene-Ekpofu be and discontinue all forms of siege and associated brutalisation and riotous brigandage in the area.”