Severed head of missing Nigerian lawmaker found in park – police

ONITSHA, Nigeria, May 22 (Reuters) – Nigerian police have discovered the severed head of a state legislator who disappeared last week in southeastern Anambra state, where the government accuses the separatists of carrying out a series of murders and kidnappings, police said. said Sunday.

The southeast, home of the ethnic Igbo, is agitating to secede from the rest of Nigeria and the banned Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) group is leading the calls.

Okechukwu Okoye, an Anambra State assembly legislator and his aide disappeared on May 15. His head was found on Saturday night in a park in Nnewi South Local Government Area, Anambra State Police Spokesman Tochukwu Ikenga said.

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“The legislator was killed. His head was found along Nnobi road. There are no suspects in custody yet,” Ikenga said.

The governor of Anambra State has offered a reward of 10 million naira ($24,000) for information about the killers.

Earlier this month, gunmen killed and beheaded two soldiers in neighboring Imo state. The government accused the IPOB, which denied the accusation.

Violence in the southeast is another layer of insecurity in Nigeria, where kidnapping for ransom is common in the northwest and an Islamist insurgency has lasted for more than a decade in the northeast of the country.

Amnesty International said last August that Nigerian security forces had killed at least 115 people in the southeast in the first eight months of 2021 and arbitrarily arrested or tortured dozens more. The government made no comment.

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Reporting by Anamesere Igboeroteonwu, writing by MacDonald Dzirutwe, editing by Chris Reese

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