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Bakassi Boys: Nine more victims die

Posted by Ijendu Iheaka on 2005/08/07 | Views: 421 |

Bakassi Boys: Nine more victims die


Nine more victims in the illegal cell of the Bakassi Boys in Aba, Abia State were feared dead on Saturday At least 27 of the ‘inmates’ were suffocated on Friday in the cell located at Orie Ohabiam market.

Nine more victims in the illegal cell of the Bakassi Boys in Aba, Abia State were feared dead on Saturday At least 27 of the ‘inmates’ were suffocated on Friday in the cell located at Orie Ohabiam market.

The government reacting to insinuations by some individuals and groups that Bakassi boys had the backing of the authorities.

The state government distanced itself from the activities of the group and indeed the tragedy.

In a letter dated August 5 and forwarded to our correspondent’s, by the Human Rights, Justice and Peace Foundation and signed by the President, Mr Chidi Nwosu, the group said that other inmates of the cell had died on Saturday morning at various hospitals where they were taken.

The group put the number of those who died on Saturday at nine speaking with our correspondent in Umuahia, Nwosu said he got reports of the deaths through persons who cared for the work of the HRJP Foundation.

He added that there were about 32 persons in the cells of the group as at Thursday evening.

“While 23 died on Friday morning, another nine were taken to hospitals in Aba where they all died this morning.”

However, the police could not be reached to confirm this. The Police Public relations officer in Abia State late on Friday said that they only saw 10 corpses and had deposited them at the Federal Medical Centre Mortuary in Umuahia to be claimed by their relations.

But the police were not on hand to comment on the new developments.

When our correspondent visited the scene of the incident, two corpses were still lying in the open after the police had carried others away.

Sources, however, claimed that 32 persons died but some witnesses said only 23 died on the spot.

The Secretary to the State Government, Chief Ralph Egbu, who spoke to our correspondent in Umuahia on Saturday said that the allegations that the government had a hand in the incident was.

“I don’t know whether Bakassi still exists, but from the information I had is that may be because of the situation the market people decided to set up a vigilante group. And decided to go beyond their mandate, to the point of arresting people, they are not police. Why should they do the work of the police?

There is no way the government could have supported such group to do that kind of thing, that is not true.”

He said “the government views the event as a terrible occurrence, Government has asked me to issue a press statement.

“We find it very unfortunate. I have issued a press statement where we have condemned it in strong terms and we are working with the police to make sure that the culprits are fished out and let the law take its course.

On market organizations that have decided to set up vigilante groups like Bakassi, he said, “we are working with the police to investigate the situation and know the facts on the ground. If we are sure they are going out of their bounds to do some of these things but they will be curbed.”

SUNDAY PUNCH, August 07, 2005

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.