Two United States Attorneys, Bruce Fein and Bruce DelValle of Fein& DelValle PPLC have met with ten Nigerian witnesses on the suit filed in the United States District court of Columbia against 14 Nigerian defendants for their alleged involvement in the 2016 alleged torture and extra-judicial killings of pro-Biafran agitators during their peaceful protests.
The two attorneys, who stormed Nigeria three days ago met with the families of the victims at an undisclosed location and also extracted various statements from them, which have been deposed as affidavits of facts to the suit.
Ten Biafran plaintiffs are seeking millions of dollars as damages to compensate for their grievous losses and suffering following the alleged gruesome killings of pro- Biafra agitators in Nkpor and Onitsha, Anambra State, and Aba, Abia State, in 2016 during the peaceful demonstration for the release of the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
Attorney Bruce Fein said they were in Nigeria as a follow-up to the suit already in court because of Biafra agitators who were murdered as a result of high level military and security agencies infringement of their rights to freedom of assembly and expression while the state governors could not also protect the demonstrators.
Fein said: “after filing the case in the US court, we were able to convince the judge that revealing the identities of the complainants /plaintiffs in the suit could result in retaliations and danger against their families, hence the reason the court settled for the name John Doe etal so that it can proceed anonymously.
“Thirteen defendants out of 16 have been effectively served with the court summons because Igbos and Christians have the right to live in the country and enjoy their full rights as citizens of Nigeria.”
The Nigerian facilitators, Emeka Umeagbalasi, board chairman, International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law and Okpalaezenri Emeka Onyeso of the Forum for the Promotion of National Ethos and Values, who spoke after the meeting noted that the struggle to ensure justice for the victims and families of those who died through the use of state power of coercion while engaging in peaceful protest is a noble cause that must be pursued to a logical conclusion.
Other defendants in the suit included former Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, former Commander, 302 Artillery Regiment, Onitsha, Col Ibrahim Maigeri and governors Willie Obiano and Okezie Ikpeazu of Anambra and Abia States respectively, among others.