Nigerian police have found the severed head of a state legislator who went missing last week in the southeastern state of Anambra, where the government has charged separatists with murder and kidnapping, police said on Sunday.
Southeast, the birthplace of the Igbo ethnic group, is campaigning for secession from the rest of Nigeria, and the banned indigenous peoples of the Biafra (IPOB) group are leading the call.
Okechukou Okoye, a legislator from the Anambra State Legislature, and his associates went missing on May 15. His head was found Saturday night in a park in the Ninui South Local Government Area, Anambra State Police spokesman Tochuku Ikenga said.
“The lawmaker has been killed. His head has been found on Nobby Road. No suspects are in custody yet,” Ikenga said.
The governor of the state of Anambra has set a reward of 10 million naira ($ 24,000) for information leading to the killers.
Earlier this month, gunmen killed and beheaded two soldiers in neighboring Emo State. The government has accused the IPOB, which has denied the allegations.
Violence in the southeast is another level of insecurity in Nigeria, where kidnappings for ransom are commonplace in the northwest and Islamist insurgency in the country’s northeast for more than a decade.
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 arrested or tortured many indiscriminately. The government has not commented.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)