By Owei Lakemfa.

THERE is a sickening campaign by some unfeeling persons that those who claim there were killings at the Lekki Tollgate on October 20, 2020 or are searching for missing loved ones who went to the protests, should produce the corpses.

To this group, unless corpses are produced, there could not have been killings. This is like taunting the rest of the populace. These Trumpian propagandists are not even being fair to a government that says it wants to unravel the truth about what happened at the protest site. This campaign is shallow and unintelligent. Murders do not necessarily produce bodies nor do massacres have to produce corpses. It depends on the plan, the perpetrators and the execution. This is why in court, circumstantial evidence can be used to convict a murderer even if the corpse cannot be found.

Murders and massacres can follow the Italian or American Mafia system of division of labour: those who shoot are different from the group that disposes, while these are different from those who wipe the crime scene clean of any possible evidence.

One of the most powerful and certainly the most famous American labour leader was James (Jimmy) Riddle Hoffa. He was President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters for 14 years from 1957. On July 30, 1975 he went to a restaurant in suburban Detroit to meet two Mafia figures: Anthony Provenzano and Anthony Giacalone. There are conflicting claims whether he arrived at the restaurant or not. But his remains have not been found until date. That does not mean he was not killed.

On October 2, 2018, Saudi journalist, Kamal Kashoggi went to his country’s Consulate in Turkey to collect his divorce papers. There was a 15-member killer squad waiting for him. Until today, his body has not been found. But that does not mean he has not been murdered nor does it exculpate the Saudi government. There were massacres carried out in Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovinan in 1995, and to-date, over 1,000 corpses have not been found. That does not mean they were not killed.

The Greenwood area of Tusla, Oklahoma, United Sates was a thriving Black community so renowned for its prosperity that it was nicknamed the Black Wall Street. On May 31 and June 1, 1921, a White mob attacked Greenwood with all sorts of weapons, including using private aircraft. At least 300 people were killed and some 800 injured while the area itself was obliterated. The main issue of what is now accepted as the Tusla Race Massacre is neither the attack nor the destruction of a bubbling Black economy, but the carting away of the bodies. With no corpses or graves, the White establishment practically denied there was a massacre. The Black population was so intimidated that for decades, there were only whispers.

Finally, Oklahoma State set up a commission in the mid-1990s to verify if there truly was a massacre. Its 2001 Report confirmed the historical truth. As the centenary of the massacre approaches, the state on October 19, 2020 began excavating four possible secret burial sites. They were identified using ground-penetrating radar scans. So the absence of corpses does not mean the Tusla massacres, 99 years ago, did not take place.

My last example is the 1995 Patani Massacre which until today, the Nigerian government has refused to acknowledge. A team of anti-robbery policemen driving on the Patani Bridge which straddles Delta and Bayelsa states on the Forcados River, came across a youth, Akpos Ekiyor. They profiled him and concluded he must be a criminal. After roughening him up, the now frightened youth was ordered to take the policemen to the houses of his friends. When they descended the bridge into the Ekise part of the town, Mr. Ekiyor took them to the home of the patent medicine dealer, Mr. Keboh. There, they met and arrested his three sons: Ebimobowei Keboh, Doreyerin Keboh and Goddey Keboh. Then he took them to the home of my uncle, Chief Ogini Fakrogha in the Taware end of the town. There, they met my first cousin, Mr. Ezekiel Fakrogha in his room and arrested him. Along the Taware road lived a then 70-year-old Pa Flint Orugun, a security guard at the Public Hospital, Bulu Angiama. The team profiled him as an herbalist who must have been producing charms for criminals in the town; so they picked him as they did a road transport worker, Mr. Mathias Kemefasu Famous who worked at the Patani Bridge Garage.

A police officer, Mr. G.A. who was known in the town, was seen with the policemen. He confirmed the team was from the Ughelli Area Command. The Patani Community leaders and chiefs who had gathered decided that since it was getting dark, it was better to go to the Area Command next morning to secure the release of the seven men. When the Patani delegation got to the Ughelli Police Command next day, they were shocked when the police claimed no such arrests were made and that in fact, no patrol team from the station was in Patani the previous day. When the delegation insisted the men were brought there, the confident Area Commander told his men to take the delegation round the cells to see for themselves that no such persons were brought.

In going through the cells, the delegation called out the names of the men, and in the last cell, Mr. Famous responded. That punctured the lies of the police. He told the delegation that when they were brought to the Area Command the previous evening, he was separated from the rest perhaps due to overcrowding in the cell. He said later in the night, from his cell, he saw the other six men being led away. He assumed it was for interrogation and thought he would later be called out, but nobody came for him until the delegation arrived. The truth was out: the police had executed the six other men! To worsen matters, it refused to show the families of the victims where the men were buried.

After series of petitions which included the names of the police officers involved, on behalf of the families, I approached leading Human Rights lawyer, the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi to take up the case. He assigned Mr. Festus Keyamo(current Minister of State for Labour) to handle the case. Together, we went to the Bomadi High Court, Delta State to file the case and commence proceedings.

Until this day, a quarter of a century later, we cannot produce the corpses of the six victims of the Patani Massacre, but it will be unwise to argue that that this means there was no massacre or that the men summarily executed by the Nigeria Police Force, never existed.
Do you like NewIssues, Abuja's articles? Follow on social!
No Comments
Comments to: #EndSARS: Massacres do not necessarily produce corpses

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Attach images - Only PNG, JPG, JPEG and GIF are supported.

Good Reads


Bandits have levied some communities in Shiroro Council of Niger State N5 million monthly to avoid being attacked. Against the usual kidnapping for ransom, the audacious bandits reportedly demanded N5 million from Iburo, Gandu, Dnasa, Pyegbere, Dnasapa, Jhazhayidna, Goffan A and B, Chukuba and Galapy communities to be spared from attacks. A source in Shiroro […]
By George Onmonya Daniel Over the years, reports from WAEC, NECO and JAMB coming out of Zamfara State have been that of complete embarrassment in which in the whole state sometimes only five secondary school students are reported to have passed with five credits in NECO and WAEC or are able to get the cut […]
Two suspected young men have been arrested for allegedly killing and removing the vagina of a little girl for the purpose of ritual in Bauchi State. They confessed to committing the dastardly act because of N500,000. The suspects, Abdulkadir Wada and Adamu Abdulrauf, said in an audio clip obtained by PRNigeria, while being interrogated by […]
By Uri Jones Mark Zuckerberg & Jack Dorsey of Facebook & Twitter respectively, must choose whether they are a platform that promotes freedom of speech or one that limits it. In striving to portray social responsibility there should be no conflicts of interests when it comes to freedom of speech…Honestly, jaw dropping to some hypocritically […]
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sent “an urgent complaint to the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention over the arbitrary detention, torture and other ill-treatment of journalist Omoyele Sowore and four other activists simply for peacefully exercising their human rights.” SERAP said: “The Working Group should request the Nigerian authorities to withdraw […]
By Nicholas BostonCity University of New York Among the hundreds of thousands of patriots that Poland celebrates for serving in the resistance movement in World War Two there is one black, Nigeria-born man. Jazz musician August Agboola Browne was in his forties, and had been in Poland for 17 years, when he joined the struggle […]
Suspected Islamist militants have attacked two villages in Niger, killing at least 56 people, according to Reuters news agency. Over 20 others were also injured by the attacks on Zaroumdareye and Tchombangou, near Niger’s border with Mali. There have been several recent violent incidents in Africa’s Sahel region, carried out by militant groups. France said […]
By Paul Mumeh Former President of the Senate, Senator David Mark has urged the federal government to strive hard to reverse the negative perception of Nigerians toward it by responding positively to the yearnings and aspirations of the citizens in the New Year. Senator Mark in a goodwill message to Nigerians marking the New Year […]
A new era has begun for the United Kingdom after it completed its formal separation from the European Union. The UK stopped following EU rules at 23:00 GMT, as replacement arrangements for travel, trade, immigration and security co-operation came into force. Boris Johnson said the UK had “freedom in our hands” and the ability to […]
Matthew Kukah, bishop of Sokoto Catholic diocese, has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of nepotism. Before now President Muhammadu Buhari and other notable dignitaries said the same. In his Christmas message on Friday, the bishop said there could have been a coup if a non-northern Muslim president does a fraction of what Buhari did. He accused […]
By George Onmonya Daniel Governor Masari of Katsina told newsmen that Miyetti Allah leaders were the facilitators and negotiators who are instrumental in negotiating the release of abducted secondary school students from Kankara in Katsina State. He said this in the Government House, Katsina, as he address newsmen after news of the release of the […]
Katsina state government source has confirmed to NEWISSUES that the students kidnapped in a boarding school in Kankara town have been released by the abductors. Governor Masari of Katsina State have also confirmed that the kidnapped students have been released. He earlier told Arise Television that he was sure the people his people were negotiating […]
Doubts over Islamist extremists’ involvement in abduction of more than 300 students last week Parents gather at the Government Science school after gunmen abducted the students in Kankara. Photograph: Afolabi Sotunde/ReutersJason Burke and Isaac Abrak in Abuja. The leader of Boko Haram, the Islamist extremist group that abducted hundreds of schoolgirls in Nigeria six years ago, has claimed responsibility for […]
By Isa Gusau Says Zulum combines talent and character The national leader of APC and former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Ahmed Tinubu visited Governor Babagana Umara Zulum in Maiduguri on Monday, with call on the Nigerian military to change their strategy. “We have been on this (boko haram) for sometime, We have seen the […]
By Isa Gusua … Inspects 350 houses, others at Ngoshe, Warabe, Pulka Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, used the whole of Monday for humanitarian activities in Ngoshe, Warabe and Pulka, all in Gwoza Local Government Area of Southern Borno. At Ngoshe, Zulum supervised distribution of food items and N24m in cash to 1,200 […]
By George Onmonya Daniel The entertainment industry can be as cruel as it is rewarding. The cruelest of it all is putting an individual at the top and suddenly that individual finds him or herself sinking into the bottomless pit of oblivion, broke without money. The Big Brother show is the biggest entertainment show in […]
Fugitive ex-Pension Boss, Alhaji Abdulraheed Maina, has been arrested in Niger Republic by operatives of the Nigerian Intellihence Service. Mr. Maina who was supposed to appear in court where he is facing several charges of money laundering suddenly disappeared, making the court to detain Senator Ali Ndume who surety his bail. Economic and Financial Crime […]
By George Onmonya Daniel Outraged Nigerians blast President Buhari after his spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, released a statement on behalf of the president condemning the slaughtering of 45 rice farmers in their farms by Boko Haram. The statement below was released by Garba Shehu on behalf of President Buhari PRESIDENT BUHARI CONDEMNS AS INSANE, BOKO […]
Why do dangerous bigots like Nasir El-Rufai like to conveniently and hypocritically rail against the zoning of political offices? They are actually talking about the presidency, and what they mean is basically that when their “turn” is over, they should be allowed to keep power or at least try to keep it. One wonders why […]
Recession: SERAP asks Buhari to cut cost of governance, not public services Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sent an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari urging him “to put the country’s resources at the service of human rights, and to support the less well-off to enjoy an adequate standing of living through cutting […]
By George Onmonya Daniel Mallam Aliyu Maina, cousin to former pension boss, Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina, has called on the erstwhile chairman of the pension reform task team to submit himself for continuation of trial so that the current national embarrassment faced by Senator Ali Ndume is smothered before it gets out of hand. Senator Ali […]


Bandits have levied some communities in Shiroro Council of Niger State N5 million monthly to avoid being attacked. Against the usual kidnapping for ransom, the audacious bandits reportedly demanded N5 million from Iburo, Gandu, Dnasa, Pyegbere, Dnasapa, Jhazhayidna, Goffan A and B, Chukuba and Galapy communities to be spared from attacks. A source in Shiroro […]