THE Anambra State Truth, Justice and Peace Commission said it had discovered a mass grave believed to hold the remains of 322 individuals.
The Commission’s secretary, Bianca Ojukwu, disclosed this in a Facebook post titled, ‘A mass grave site discovered in Anambra sealed off for forensic investigation,’ on Tuesday, November 7.
Governor Chukwuma Soludo constituted the commission in June 2022 to inquire into the violent agitations and restiveness in the state and the South East.
The 15-member committee is headed by the former chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Chidi Odinkalu, a professor.
Bianca said the mass grave site came to the attention of the Commission through testimonies provided during the marathon sittings of the second phase of the investigation, which lasted from October 26 to November 3.
She also stated that the commission’s chairman had recommended that the site be sealed for forensic investigation by pathologists. This, she added, would aid in uncovering the identities of the victims and the circumstances surrounding their deaths.
According to her, 39 witnesses testified on oath, while 243 exhibits were collected during the proceedings.
“Our commission, headed by Prof Chidi Odinkalu interrogated a total of 39 witnesses who testified on oath while 243 exhibits were collected during the course of the proceedings.
“The commission also met with 31 petitioners, including 11 organisations, 19 communities, and one individual during the marathon sittings which lasted from Oct. 26 to Nov. 3.”
She added that some persons were still unaccounted for, with their fate yet to be confirmed.
According to her, only 18 persons have been identified as missing or disappeared.
Over the years, Anambra and some other southeastern states have suffered insecurity, particularly attacks by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), posing a significant threat to the safety and well-being of the residents.
On September 7, The ICIR reported how two people die daily from insecurity in the South-East.