The Nigerian Government and its security forces have been engaging in mindless ethno-religious profiling and terrorization of citizens subscribing to Sabbath Christian Faith and related others in Eastern Nigeria especially those under the umbrella of ‘the African Instituted Churches”. Several investigations by Intersociety since the Obigbo Army massacre and abductions in Rivers State in October/November 2020 have clearly shown that targeting, criminalizing, stigmatizing, terrorizing and killing members and leaders of the Sabbath Faith Family and related others have become the official ‘operation code’ of the Nigerian Government and its security forces. Without provable and indictable pieces of evidence, the security forces including Police IRT, RRS and others and soldiers of the Nigerian Armed Forces and their joint forces under “Special Forces” as well as operatives of the DSS have been going about in frenzy, abducting members and leaders of the Faith, destroying their properties including homes, sacred places of worship and livelihoods and killing them at will after being taken into custody or at the point of their arrest or abduction.
Strong pieces of evidence also abound confirming that over 95% of them are arrested or abducted unarmed-with several of them risk being instantly killed or killed after being taken into custody. They are also mercilessly tortured in custody leading to their death or being left half-dead. Further investigations by Intersociety revealed that the ongoing targeted persecution and terrorization are borne out of ‘religious profiling’ whereby Nigerian Government and its security forces lethally perceive any member or leader of the Faith as “IPOB/ESN member”. This was further discovered to have arisen from open identification by some members and leaders of the leading self determination movement in Eastern Nigeria with Sabbath Faith and related Jewish mode of worship as their religion or belief system. Therefore, rather than the Nigerian Government and its security forces professionally and intelligently identifying and going after criminal citizens, using intelligence and crime detection, they have been relying heavily on pieces of ‘hearsay evidence and ethno-religious profiling and hatred to target and terrorize members and leaders of the Faith and these are clearly outside the confines of the country’s body of laws including criminal laws and their procedures. As a matter of fact, it is like tagging every member of Nigerian Muslim Faith as “Boko Haram or ISWAP or Ansaru or Fulani Terror Jihadist”.
Egole Family Of 25 Under Threat Of "Familicide":
The Nwachukwu-Egole Family is located in Orlu in Imo State, Southeast Nigeria and comprised of three principal heads and nineteen children including a Pastor at Synagogue Church/head of Egole Family (Cletus Egole, father of nine children), a Pastor at Pentecostal Church (Chinedu Egole, father of three infants), a businessman (Eugene Egole, father of five children), a pharmacist wife of Pastor Cletus Egole (Ifeyinwa Egole, mother of nine children), a maternal grandmother (Evelyn Mgbenwa) and their nineteen children most of who underage from two years to 16 years. The Family is presently in disarray and at high risk of being wiped out (familicide) by the Intelligence Response Unit of the Nigeria Police Force (Police IRT) and soldiers of the Nigerian Army, known as “Special Forces”. The two oldest among the nineteen children in the Family are first son of the head of the Egole Family (Chinemeze, 25) and the Family’s first daughter (Deborah Chidozie, 23). Deborah has remained in hiding since February 2021 and dropped out of her School of Nursing at Okigwe. The nineteen affected children and their parents are: 1. Nine children of slain Pastor Cletus Egole: Chinemeze, Deborah, Iruoma, Ekperebuike, Promise, Mmerichukwu, Solomon, Peculiar and Emmanuel. 2. Five children of missing and presumably murdered Eugene Egole: Mmesoma, Mmasi, Ebenezer, Favour and Chigozirim. 3. Three infant children of slain Pastor Chinedu Egole are also at high risk, starving and endangered. His nursing wife has abandoned her matrimonial home to escape being killed. 4. Their maternal grandmother (mother of Ifeyinwa Egole), Madam Evelyn Mgbenwa and her two underage children: Blessing Ngozichukwu Okafor and Emmanuel Okafor are also in hiding, starving and at high risk.
Pastors Cletus & Chinedu Killed In Custody, Ifeyinwa In Chain And Eugene & Chinemeze Disappeared:6
Personnel of the Police IRT at ‘Tiger Base’ in Imo State and those at the Force CIB/IRT Abattoir, Abuja have extra-judicially killed two principal family members in their custodies and they are: Pastor Cletus Nwachukwu Egole, who was killed extra-judicially in detention at Abattoir in Abuja in July 2021 and Pastor Chinedu Nwachukwu Egole, killed extra-judicially in detention at Tiger Base, Owerri in June 2021. Another key member of the Family and father of five children, Mr. Eugene Nwachukwu Egole and first son of the slain Pastor Cletus Egole; Chinemeze Nwachukwu Egole were also abducted and disappeared since February 2021 by the combined team of the Police IRT and military personnel called “Special Forces”. They are most likely to have been killed in captivity. As if the above conduct atrocities were not enough, the Imo and Abuja IRT personnel also abducted the pharmacist wife of the slain head of the Egole Family (Pastor Cletus Nwachukwu Egole); Mrs. Ifeyinwa Nwachukwu Egole, mother of nine and 45 years of age and vandalized and burnt down her pharmacy store. She was later taken to Abuja IRT Abattoir, where she was mercilessly tortured, dehumanized and presently held in chain since February 2021 without trial. The arsonist security personnel also burnt beyond recognition the Family House and the Synagogue Church of slain Pastor Cletus Nwachukwu Egole. 8
Invasion And Burning Of Egole Family On 13th February 2021:
The invasion and burning of the Nwachukwu Egole Family took place when a combined team of Police IRT and Army personnel targeted and attacked the slain Pastor Cletus Egole's Family on the 13th of February 2021 at about 4:30pm in the morning and abducted the entire family members including Pastor Cletus Egole (60), Wife, Ifeyinwa (45), and their eight children. The first son of the Family, Chinemeze, 25, was not at home. The invading security personnel also ran riot on their Family house and Synagogue by setting them ablaze and burning them beyond recognition through use of explosives and petrol bombs. They also returned and set a Pharmacy store belonging to slain Pastor Cletus Egole’s Wife ablaze and burnt same beyond recognition.
Infants And Underage Children Of The Egoles Terrorized And Forced Into Hiding:
The underage children of slain Pastor Cletus Egole were also abducted and taken into custody where they were tortured, starved, traumatized and held for seven days, after which they were ordered to be reporting to police station on daily basis. Since then and after the release of the tortured and traumatized Egole’s children, they returned home and became homeless-with no shelter, clothes or food for them. They have been begging for shelter and food from one family to another and anywhere they settled, the same Police and soldiers would track, invade and traumatize them for being the siblings to “IPOB/ESN member” (referring to their elder brother, Chinemeze). The eight Children, now joined by ten others or children of missing Eugene and slain Pastor Chinedu and those of their maternal grandmother have continued to move from one house to another forcing people to become scared of accommodating them for fear of being invaded by Soldiers and Police. The Nigeria Police IRT personnel and soldiers have after invading and attacking the house and Synagogue of slain Pastor Cletus Egole, also invaded the Family of Eugene Ofoma Egole, who is a Widower and when they could not find him at home, they flogged, dehumanized and tortured his children who are between the ages of six and sixteen years. The rampaging police and Army personnel also destroyed his home, forcing the children to flee for safety. Since then their father, Eugene, has never been seen or located. He was likely abducted and disappeared later by the Police.
Still not done, in the month of April 2021, the same combined team of Police IRT and soldiers again stormed the family house and the church of now slain Pastor Philip Chinedu Nwachukwu Egole in Port Harcourt, the youngest brother of Pastor Cletus Nwachukwu Egole, a Port Harcourt resident and powerful Pastor of a Pentecostal Church in his early 40s, who was married with three little kids and living with his nursing wife. Slain Pastor Chinedu Egole was tortured and abducted in a Gestapo styled operation in his house and taken away to unknown destination. The wife, a young mother of three infants, was forced to move from one Police Station to another until she finally received a message from somebody who said he was just released from Police custody where he spent some weeks with her husband (Pastor Chinedu Nwachukwu Egole) at Tiger-Base of the Imo State CID Owerri. The freed cellmate also told the wife that her husband was a popular and highly respected Pastor in their cell and that he conducted morning and evening Devotion and became an inspiration to many of them. Mrs. Chinedu Egole also made several efforts to see her husband in detention all to no avail and was threatened with arrest, forcing her to flee her matrimonial home and disappear into hiding. She was also forced to drop her children out of school and shut down her private business.
How Police IRT Framed And Killed Pastors Cletus And Chinedu Egole In Custody:
The Police and Army had upon the mass arrest of Pastor Cletus Nwachukwu Egole, his wife, Ifeyinwa and their eight children accused them of “being related to and shielding their first son, Chinemeze, 25, a member of IPOB that killed some security personnel in Dec 2020”. The Nigeria Police Force Headquarters, Abuja later twisted same and accused Pastor Cletus Egole of “being one of the masterminds of various attacks on security personnel in different parts of the Southeast”; that he “provided spiritual cover, his house and farmland for members of his gang to plan their nefarious operations”. Slain Pastor Cletus Egole’s wife, Ifeyinwa, and mother of nine children, was accused of “being the accomplice wife of IPOB/ESN sponsor/spiritualist” and has remained in detention without trial for over nine months or since 13th February 2021. Intersociety also investigated and discovered that Pastor Cletus Egole’s youngest brother, now slain Pastor Chinedu Egole, was tricked by the Police IRT squads at Owerri (Tiger Base) and Abattoir, Abuja to ‘come forward and take his eldest Brother (Cletus) on bail at NPF IRT, Abuja and as the “bail arrangements” were being perfected on phone, the same Police IRT deceived his eldest Brother (when he was still alive in custody) into furnishing them with his youngest brother’s contacts and location and before Pastor Chinedu knew what was happening, his Port Harcourt house and Pentecostal Church had been invaded, attacked and vandalized. He was later abducted and detained incommunicado at Tiger Base, Owerri and labeled “IPOB/ESN Pastor/Spiritualist”. He remained in detention and was mercilessly tortured alongside others until he was dragged out of cell alongside others sometime in June 2021 and taken to nearby isolated location where he was shot and killed alongside others. His killing was confirmed to Intersociety by at least three key eyewitnesses that were detained with him. While Pastor Chinedu was killed in detention in Owerri in June, his eldest brother, Pastor Cletus was killed in July 2021 at NPF’s CIB/IRT, Abattoir, Abuja. Intersociety had some time ago mentioned him as one of the “57 detainees killed extra-judicially in custody at NPF’s CIB/IRT, Abattoir, Abuja in connection with Biafra Matters”. Till date, sources close to Intersociety from the female cell of the NPF’s CIB/IRT at Abattoir, Abuja where the slain Pastor Cletus Egole’s wife, Ifeyinwa, is being held without trial since February 2021 indicated that she is not aware that her husband and her brother-in-law (Pastor Chinedu) have been killed in custody.
Police And Military Killings And Property Burnings Unknown To Laws Of Nigeria And Int’l Others:
We have searched the 320 Sections of the Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution and its subordinate Criminal Laws and Procedures as well as the country’s acceded regional and int’l Rights and Humanitarian Treaty Laws and could not find a single place supporting the conduct atrocities above highlighted and other internationally prohibited acts. For instance, nowhere in any of the above mentioned written laws is it provided for security forces to brazenly and hatefully frame citizens without any ink of indictable and convictable evidence or on the grounds of their religion or worship belief. This is not to talk of brazenly engaging in extra-judicial destruction or burning down of defenseless citizens’ properties such as homes, sacred places of worship and livelihoods; or atrociously transferring criminal responsibilities to innocent and defenseless relatives including parents and siblings of citizens accused of being in conflict with criminal laws irrespective of the gravity of offences under accusation or labeling. No place in any of the written laws it is also heard or read that security forces can arrest members of a nuclear or extended family including the infants, and render them homeless and visit them with starvation by burning down their homes and sources of their livelihood; kill their parents, or hold them indefinitely and subject them to other sub-human treatments with clear intent to wipe them out and close their generations.
Also killing in the custody of two key innocent members of the Egole Family, disappearance of two others and detention of their young matriarch for ten months without trial; all clearly amount to persecution, jungle justice and trial by ordeal-which are totally repugnant to natural justice including fair hearing and trial and presumption of innocence before the law. The above, therefore, not only show blatant lack of indictable and prosecutorial evidence but also brazenly expose the rampancy with which the radical Muslim dominated and controlled security personnel in the country go about framing innocent and defenseless citizens and leveling phantom charges against them. We have checked all the country’s written laws on crime and society and there is nowhere it is provided for citizens to be indiscriminately profiled, targeted, criminalized and stigmatized on the ground of their Faith and Religion.
Drawing The Attention Of US, UK, EU, UN, Int’l Rights Bodies And Others:
The congregated and aggregated attention of the United Nations, especially its bodies responsible against arbitrary arrest and detention, torture and other inhuman treatments or punishment and extrajudicial and unlawful killings or executions as well as the UK, US and Canada Governments and the European Union and int’l rights bodies is drawn and called to intervene as a matter of extreme urgency and importance. The above named respected international Governments and Inter-Governmental and Non-Governmental Organizations and others are prayed to mount intensive and sustained pressure on Nigerian Government and leaderships of the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigerian Army to investigate the conduct atrocities speedily and conclusively so as to ensure their discontinuation and fish out and punitively punish their perpetrators. The Nigerian Government must be prevailed upon to free the Egoles including Mrs. Ifeyinwa Egole who has been detained since February and discontinue all forms of persecution and terrorization of all the children of the Egole Family, numbering nineteen and other relatives. The death in custody of Madam Ifeyinwa’s husband and her husband’s youngest brother including their slain bodies’ whereabouts must also be disclosed. The Police IRT and the Nigerian Army must be further compelled to fetch dead or alive the disappeared two other senior members of the Egole Family: Eugene and Chinemeze.
Identified Culpable Police IRT Officers Must Be Dismissed And Sanctioned:
The following atrocious IRT officers at Owerri Tiger Base must thoroughly be investigated and punished severely. They include Officer Ndidi, Officer Nickolas, Officer Ola, Officer Utaba, Officer Uzor, Officer Bello, Officer Ebele and Officer Omimi; likewise those at Police IRT, Abattoir, Abuja including Inspector Ekwueme Chukwudi Daniel (”Biafra Matters” General IPO), SUPOL Vincent Makinde (Jolikate) and SUPOL Abbah (Head of Legal Department). All their superiors including unit and overall or general heads of Police IRT at Owerri Tiger Base and Abuja Abattoir or ‘Human Slaughter House’ must also be identified, investigated, dismissed and sanctioned or prosecuted.
DSS Operatives In Enugu And Anambra Must Produce Citizens C. Nnamani And K. Okoroeze
Similarly, the authorities of the State Security Services (DSS) in Enugu and Anambra States must be prevailed upon to publicly produce or disclose the whereabouts of Citizen Cletus Nwanagu Nnamani, the younger brother of Reverend Father Tobechukwu Nnamani, a respected Catholic Priest of the Enugu Diocese, who was abducted at midnight of November 25, 2021 in his village of Egudene-Nkanu and has been discretely traced by his family to the Enugu Directorate of SSS. According to the respected Catholic Priest, his abducted younger brother was the immediate past Chairman of the Enugu State Neighborhood Watch in Egudene in Nkanu East, Enugu State and was framed and labeled “IPOB/ESN member” by his detractors. The Anambra Directorate of SSS must also publicly produce or disclose the whereabouts of Citizen Kenechukwu Okoroeze, a prominent member of the Action Democratic Party, ADP, who was abducted by DSS on 11th October 2021 at about 5am. According to his wife, Adaora, the abductors wore DSS helmets and jackets when they broke into their home and only asked her to “come to our office at Awka”. Citizen Kenechi Okoroeze, a native of Owerre-Ezukala in Orumba South, Anambra State is also likely to have been abducted by DSS and labeled “IPOB/ESN member”. The DSS must publicly produce them and charge them to Court or free them unconditionally. Pictures of persecuting children of the Egoles are attached.
For: International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law
Emeka Umeagbalasi (Criminologist & Graduate of Security Studies), Board Chair
Lawyer Chinwe Umeche, Head, Democracy and Good Government Department
Lawyer Obianuju Igboeli, Head, Civil Liberties and Rule of Law Department
Lawyer Chidimma Udegbunam, Head, Campaign and Publicity Department
Comrade Chibueze Nwajiaku, Deputy Head, Policing and Law Enforcement Department
Mobile Phone/WhatsApp: +2348174090052