Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor, lawyer to leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu has called on the international community to investigate the killings and burning of his home in Oraifite, Ekwusigo local government area of Anambra state. Ejiofor’s call is coming less than 24hours he was declared wanted by the Police over alleged cases of conspiracy, murder, treasonable felony, arson, and armed robbery.
Speaking through a video clip, the legal practitioner said the incident has rendered him homeless. He further alleged that over thirty persons were murdered and burnt in the process, including those running into the houses for safety. He said, “I am calling on responsible International Organisations, European Union, United Nations, United States of America, United Kingdom and also Amnesty International, to get involved and investigate the carnage in my house because as I speak to you now, I am homeless. They have burnt down virtually everything.”
Ejiofor maintained that no corpse of any police officer was found in his premises including their vehicle, as alleged. “No Police was killed. They took the corpses of the people they killed in my house to Onitsha/Owerri expressway, burnt them and also burnt the vehicle. “It is important to clarify that many people were killed in that process. Now I learnt that many people that were running into the houses were burnt down along. “So until when an access is given to people who will investigate what transpired in my house, then we can be able to determine the number of people that were actually killed.
“Because I can assure you that twenty to thirty people have been murdered in my house on the account of this incident. And my mum also was gunned down. She sustained bullet injuries, though she is receiving treatment. “So I do not know the offences I have committed for becoming a lawyer of IPOB. I do not know where I got it wrong. This is a person that has been at home since Sunday 27th of November 2019 till Sunday 1st of December 2019, when we went for the afternoon service,” he stated.
According to Ejiofor, the Area commander was in his house at about 6:00am where he promised to be in his office at about 10:00 am to11:00 am. He said he was shocked when he was informed that his home had been overrun by the military personnel. His words, “On Sunday, being the 1st day of December 2019, at about 8-9 pm, I was called by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Oraifite Police Station. He never passed any message to me.
“Then in the morning of Monday 2nd December 2019, at about 6 am, I got a call from my elder brother, Evangelist Emeka Ejiofor, that the Nigerian police had invaded my premises, led by the Area Commander himself. “So I requested to speak with the Area Commander and the request was obliged. The conversation was fairly recorded. I requested to know why they were in my house because at the time in question, I was not around.
“So, he said that they came for one of my wards who participated in a local conflict and demanded to see me, but I told him that I was out to somewhere and will be back by probably around 10:30 am to 11:00 am. “And that when I come back, I will come to the station to see him and find out what really transpired and why he was in my house. So he said ok that he will grant me that request but he emphasized that time is of essence and I should keep to it. “So I became worried because I came back since 24th of November 2019 for my brother’s burial and have been around since then. The burial was conducted on Thursday 27th of November 2019.
“We stayed till Sunday 1st December 2019, when we went out for afternoon service. I never had any issues with anybody. I never stepped out of my house. I have been indoors, receiving visitors and sympathizers from all works of life. “When I came back around 10 am, I briefly had a discussion with my mother, whom I told that I was going to see the Area Commander to find out why they were in my house. “But on a second thought, I decided to go and see my uncle who will accompany me in that movement. So I had already left my house to my uncle’s place where I would pick him. And that served as a saving grace to the carnage and disaster because the target was me.
“We were on our way going to the Area Commander’s office, taking Ama conventional road, when I got a call from my younger brother that policemen were in my house and they had opened fire on all living objects in my home including all persons in my house.” Ejiofor further explained that he was shocked reading the statement from the State Police Command’s report. “Assuming without considering to the fact that someone lodged a complaint against me in the case of abduction and all those frivolous offenses, is that sufficient enough to warrant them using force on the people they found in my premises? Firing at random, killing people there and also burning houses?
“I am a lawyer with addresses. I have two chambers, one in Abuja and one at Anambra State and I practice. I am a very serious legal practitioner. I go to court almost everyday. So I am not going to run away from the police. He said he has enjoyed over ten years of unbroken relationship with the police higher ranks. “They can attest to that fact at Abuja. They know me as a peaceful man and as a gentleman. I relate with them at all capacity. I do not look for problem and I am not an enemy of the police. So why should they invade my house? Why should such a thing happen?” he queried.
Meanwhile, the Police Command has maintained that a case was lodged against the lawyer, adding that the identity of the complainant was being kept secret for security reasons. Speaking through the Police spokesperson, Haruna Mohammed, the police also queried his alleged surrounding of his residence with members of the pro-Biafran group. He said, “In my press release I stated clearly that there was a complaint of alleged abduction, assault occasioning harm and malicious damage against the suspect which he also confirmed in the video he circulated in the social media.
“If he is not dangerous, why did he surround his house with armed men suspected to be IPOB members when he knew that Police are coming after declining Police invitation? “You don’t need a lawyer to tell you that charges can only come when investigation is concluded and a prima facie case established. “As to who is the complainant, Police has a duty to conceal his identity for security reasons especially in a sensitive matter such as this.”
Chibuike John Nebeokike
For: Radio Biafra Media