Nigeria, Onitsha: Police in Nigeria announced on Sunday that they had found the severed head of a state legislator who went missing last week in the southern state of Anambra, where the government accuses separatists of carrying out a wave of killings and kidnappings.
The banned Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) group has been leading calls for secession from the rest of Nigeria in the southeast, home of the Igbo ethnic group.
Okechukwu Okoye, an Anambra state assembly politician, and his aide went missing on May 15. His head was discovered in a park in the Nnewi south local government area on Saturday night, according to Anambra state police spokesman Tochukwu Ikenga.
“The lawmaker was killed. His head was found along Nnobi road. There is no suspect in custody yet,” Ikenga said.
The governor of Anambra state has offered a reward of 10 million naira ($24,000) for information on the killers.
Gunmen assassinated and murdered two soldiers in neighbouring Imo state earlier this month. The government charged IPOB, which denied the accusation.
The violence in the southeast adds to Nigeria’s sense of insecurity, where kidnappings for ransom are prevalent in the northwest and an Islamist insurgency has raged for more than a decade in the country’s northeast.
According to Amnesty International, Nigerian security forces killed at least 115 individuals in the southeast in the first eight months of 2021 and unjustly imprisoned or tortured scores more. The government made no response.