GERMAN police have identified four of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (Ipob) members who assaulted former deputy senate president Senator Ike Ekweremadu last weekend when he attended a function in Nuremberg.
Last Saturday, Senator Ekweremadu, the lawmaker representing Enugu West Senatorial District, was due to be the guest speaker at the New Yam Festival of the Igbo community in Nuremburg in Germany. However, he was physically assaulted by Ipob members, with his top torn to shreds, as the separatist group vented their anger on him, forcing the senator to flee the venue.
Following the incident, Nigerian officials have asked the German police to arrest and prosecute the Ipob members responsible but the police in the state of Bavaria where the incident took place see it as just a protest. Although the Bavarian police have not indicated they intend to take the matter further, it is believed that have identified at least four of the protesters.
Nigeria’s embassy in Berlin has mounted pressure on the German federal authorities to bring the attackers to justice, claiming it was an assault. Yusuf Tuggar, Nigeria’s ambassador to Germany, Yusuf Tuggar, reminded the federal authorities of their responsibility to foreign government dignitaries visiting the country.
Under section 102 (1), chapter 3, of the German Criminal Code, attacks against organs and representatives of foreign states are punishable with fines and imprisonment. Anyone found guilty of such an attack is liable to imprisonment not exceeding five years or a fine and in addition, victims can file civil suits for damages.
An official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja said that the Bavaria State police had analysed the attack videos and identified four of the suspected attackers. However, Ipob insisted that the attack on the lawmaker was well deserved, accused Senator Ekweremadu of being self-centered.
Ipob spokesman Emma Powerful, said Senator Ekweremadu, being the longest serving senator in the southeast geopolitical zone, had not promoted any legislative advocacy for the good of the area. He added: “Enugu, his home state, is besieged on all fronts by Fulani militants, with men, women and children, even priests are being slaughtered on a daily basis.
“We are yet to hear our distinguished senator speak with clarity on the matter. We do not expect Ekweremadu to change Nigeria but we expect him to voice out our anger and frustration in the enemy senate.
“Those who are blaming Ipob Germany for manhandling Ekweremadu are poor students of history as you do not persuade an angry people with patriotic rhetoric. Leaders, who cannot gauge the anger and fury in their land must be truly blind and not qualified to represent them.”
Igbo Youth Assembly Worldwide has described the attack on Senator Ekweremadu as a wake-up call on Igbo leaders of thought to do the right thing. However, it condemned the attack, with the group saying Ipob’s activities played into the hands of Ndigbo’s enemies.