Former Nigeria Ambassador to Spain, Bianca Ojukwu, has debunked the reports claiming that a mass grave with 322 corpses had been found in Anambra.
Ojukwu disclosed on Thursday in Awka, Anambra State, describing the reports as misleading.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, a November 7 report in some media had quoted a November 6 post on the Facebook page of Ojukwu, Secretary to the Anambra Truth, Justice and Peace Commission, as the source of the story.
The report was quoted as stating, “The former Nigerian ambassador to Spain did not disclose the exact area the grave site is located.
“She said, however, that the discovery of the grave site was made through testimonies by witnesses who appeared before the ATJPC.’’
Reacting, Ojukwu pointed out that a suspected mass grave was discovered and sealed off for forensic investigation, but the number of persons buried there was not yet ascertained.
She stated that 322 persons were verified killed or dead as a result of violence within Anambra in the course of the Commission’s sittings, as testified by witnesses who appeared before it.
She stated further that many persons remained unaccounted for while 18 persons were identified as missing or having disappeared.
She said, “The attention of the ATJPC has been drawn to certain misleading news reports pertaining to the mass grave site in Anambra following the second phase of public hearings, which took place from October to November.
“332,000 bodies were not recovered from the grave site as has been erroneously reported by some sections of the media. This figure represents the number of persons verified as killed or dead as a result of violence within Anambra.”
“The number of bodies contained within this site is yet to be ascertained, and can only be known after a painstaking process of forensic investigation, hence the site has been sealed off.’’
Ojukwu noted that the ATJPC called on all those whose relatives; loved ones or friends were missing to file a report with the newly-established Bureau of Missing Persons domiciled within the Ministry of Justice.
Meanwhile, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigerian, on Thursday decried Federal Government’s silence over reported discovery of over 50 decomposing bodies in a forest next to the Lokpanta cattle market in Abia State.
On October 30, 2023, it was reported that the Abia State Governor, Alex Otti, disclosed that 20 decomposing bodies and skeletons were discovered by security operatives during a raid of forests around the Lokpanta Cattle Market in the Umunneochi axis of the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway.
He also said more 50 bodies were also found around the market, while the payment of ransom to suspected kidnappers was equally traced to the market.
While commending the Abia state administration for adopting a holistic measure to check coordinated criminality and terrorism of kidnappers and killings masterminded by alleged armed herders, the group asked President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to direct the heads of security agencies and top forensic investigators in collaboration with the justice ministry of Abia State, to search the killing fields identified by the Abia State Government and conduct science-led probe to determine the remote and immediate causes of these mass killings, seek for broader information on the identities of the casualties and if practicable trace any evidence that can link the investigative team to the killers.