No mass grave containing 322 bodies in Anambra — Bianca Ojukwu

Bianca Ojukwu on Thursday in Awka refuted a report that a mass grave with 322 corpses had been found in Anambra.

A Nov. 7 report in some sections of the media quoted a Nov. 6 post on the Facebook page of Mrs Ojukwu, Secretary to the Anambra Truth, Justice and Peace Commission (ATJPC), as the source of the story.

“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,’’ the report stated.

In her reaction on Thursday, however, Mrs Ojukwu described the report as misleading.

The former ambassador to Spain explained 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 added that many persons remained unaccounted for while 18 persons were identified as missing or having disappeared.

“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.

“Three hundred-and-thirty-two 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,’’ Mrs Ojukwu stated.

She added that the ATJPC urged 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.

NAN