Top Officials that Nigerian Activists Want Tried for Christian Persecution

Credit: Intersociety

The  International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) is petitioning for the prosecution of over 30 top current and former government officials in Nigeria for killings of Christians in the West African country.

Among those that Intersociety has dragged to the International Criminal Court in The Hague is the governor of Imo State and other government officials in the Nigerian State, who the research entity has directly linked to the killings and mass displacements of Christians in the State.

In a report shared with ACI Africa, Intersociety labels Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State as the Commandant General of the Imo Ebubeagu Militia Group and Chief Security Officer of the State since 20 January 2020. 

Intersociety says that it had, through investigation, found Uzodinma “to have aided and abetted the mass atrocities including mass murders, abductions, disappearances, acts of torture and burning down or wanton destruction of civilian houses and other properties and failed woefully to act to stop them.”

The petition was signed by Emeka Umeagbalasi, the founder and board chair of Intersociety among other activists in Nigerian and victims of terrorist attacks in the country. 


The ICC has already acknowledged the submission that is named, “Inter-society and Others Vs Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State, Nigeria and Others”.

Others that the activists want tried at The Hague include former and current public office holders, of participating in crimes against humanity from January 2021 to May 2023.

Umeagbalasi shared with ACI Africa a report indicating that in 29 Months (Jan 2021-May 2023), security forces and “allied militias” killed 900 unarmed citizens, wounded 700, and arrested 3,500 people, most of them innocent Christians in Imo State.

The report compiled in May also indicates that 1,400 people were extorted, and 300 others forced to disappear.

Additionally, 1,200 civilian houses were burnt down across the Nigerian State, displacing their 30,000 owners.

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The Intersociety report further indicates that attacks across Imo State also forced 500,000 citizens “in active age brackets” to flee from the State and have sought refuge in neighboring urban residences located in Umuahia, Owerri, Port Harcourt, Aba, Enugu, Onitsha, and Nnewi.

Intersociety filed the criminal complaint on June 19, accompanying it with statements of families of the victims of attacks in Nigeria.

The filed criminal complaint was titled, “Notice Of Intention To File A (Criminal) Complaint And Request For The Initiation Of An Investigation Into Crimes Against Humanity In Imo State, Nigeria Pursuant To Articles 13(c), 15 and 53 Of The Rome Statute On The Basis Of Information On The Crimes Within The Jurisdiction Of The International Criminal Court (ICC)”.

The filed document further disclosed the “several” extrajudicial killings, torture, physical assaults, abductions and other “gross” abuses of human rights in Imo State.

The file highlighted incidences of murder, abduction, extortion, state-sponsored terrorism, as some of the increasing atrocities meted against Christians in Imo State.


It also brought to the fore the “persecution against a group or collectivity based on its political, racial, national ethnic or religious character, class criminalization and reprisal targeted against unarmed civilians.”

Here is the list of individuals that Intersociety has dragged to the ICC. The names appear as shared by the human rights group.

  1. Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State, Commandant General of the Imo Ebubeagu Militia Group, and Chief Security Officer of the State since 20th Jan 2020. 
  2. Ex/serving Imo State Commissioners of Justice/Attorneys General since January 2021. 
  3. Ex/serving Imo State Commissioners of Information and Homeland Security/Special Adviser(s) to the Imo Gov on Security since January 2021. 
  4. Commander(s) of the Imo Ebubeagu Militia (Vigilante) Group since Jan 2021, 
  5. The former Inspector General of Police (Alkali Baba), 
  6. The former Chief of Defense Staff (Lucky Irabor). 
  7. The former Chief of Army Staff (Faruk Yahaya). 
  8. The Chief of Army Staff (Toareed Abiodun Lagbaja) who also served as GOC of the 82 Division, Enugu in 2021/2022. 
  9. The former Army Chief of Intelligence (Samuel Adebayo-a Major Gen)-Feb 2021-June 2023.
  10. Brigadier Gen Raymond Utsaha (as he then was), Brigade Commander of the 34 Brigade, Obinze near Owerri (2021/2022). 
  11. Brig Gen M. Ibrahim (as he then was), Brigade Commander of the 14 Brigade, Ohafia, Abia State (2021/2022). 
  12. Col Abdulsalam Abubakar Sambo (as he then was), Cantonment Commandant, 302 Artillery Regiment, Onitsha (2021/2022). 
  13. Navy Commodore SH Abdullahi (as he then was), Commander of the Nigerian Navy School of Finance and Logistics, Owerrenta, Abia State (2021/2022). 
  14. The Commanding Officers of the 211 Regiment of the Nigerian Air Force, Owerri (from Jan 2021-date), 
  15. DIG Tijani Baba (as he then was), DIG in charge of the Force Bureau of Intelligence (FIB)/Intelligence Response Teams (IRT)-2021/2022. 
  16. CP Abutu Yaro (as he then was), Commissioner of Police, Imo State Police Command (2021/2022). 
  17. AIG Habu Sani Ahmadu (as he then was), Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) in charge of FIB, Abuja (2021/2022). 
  18. CP Sadiq Abubakar (as he then was), CP in-charge of IRT (2021/2022). 
  19. DCP Adepoju Ilori (as he then was), DCP in charge of IRT (2021/2022). 
  20. CP Kolo Yusuf (as he then was), CP in charge of Special Tactical Squad (STS), NPF, Abuja (2021/2022). 
  21. DCP Abba Kyari (as he then was), DCP in charge of IRT (Police Rapid Response Teams), Abuja (2021/2022). 
  22. DCP Tunde Disu (as he then was), DCP/Commander in charge of IRT, Abuja (2021/2022).
  23. AIG Abutu Yaro (former AIG, Zone 13, Ukpor and repeat-perpetrator since 2022). 
  24. DIG Sadiq Bello, DIG in charge of FIB, Abuja (since 2022). 
  25. AIG Mamman Sandra, AIG-Zone 9, Umuahia (from 2023). 
  26. AIG Shuaya’u Lafia Abdulyari, AIG in charge of FCIB, Abuja (since 2023). 27. CP Mohammed Ahmed Barde, Commissioner of Police, Imo State (since Jan 2023). 
  27. Major Gen Umar Musa, former GOC 82 Division, Enugu (in 2022). 
  28. Major Gen Aminu Chinade, GOC, 82 Division, Enugu (2022-date). 
  29. Brig Gen Sani Suleiman, 34 Brigade Commander, Obinze (since March 2022).
  30. Brig Gen Adegoke Adetuyi, 14 Brigade Commander, Ohafia (since March 2022). 
  31. Col M.B. Abubakar, Commander, 302 Artillery Regiment and General Supports, Onitsha (since 2022).  

In its joint letters, Intersociety called for an international visa ban and other legal, diplomatic and justice actions against Governor Uzodinma of Imo State and others indicted in the Special Research and Investigative Report on Imo.

Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.