Mr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor, Nnamdi Kanu’s lawyer who was declared wanted by the Nigeria Police on Tuesday has accused the police of trying to assassinate him.
Members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on Monday clashed with the police operative who had raided and razed Ejiofor’s home. The incident led to the death of two IPOB members and two policemen who were gruesomely murdered.
The police operatives who reportedly went to Ejiofor’s home to investigate a reported case of abduction however said that they were attacked by suspected IPOB members with machete, killing two (Joseph Akubo and Oliver Abbey) and injuring others.
Akubo is an assistant superintendent of police, while Abbey was an assistant commissioner who was the area commander in-charge of Mr. Ejiofor’s hometown, Oraifite.
The proscribed group had also accused the police of attacking their members who were unarmed. IPOB in a statement alleged that the police operatives who invaded Ejiofor’s home shot at residents killing two of them.
Kanu’s lawyer whose whereabouts is still unknown stated his own side of the story in a video obtained by Premium Times.
According to Ejiofor, police operatives came to his house around 6am and requested to see him but he was not around.
So his elder brother contacted him to inform him that the police came to see him. Ejiofor further alleged that he consequently spoke to the leader of the police team (the DPO of Oraifite police station).
He noted that the DPO told him that the police operatives only came for one of his boys who was involved in a local matter, but he would however like to see him. A request Ejiofor said he promised to comply with by 10am the same day.
The IPOB lawyer however revealed that it was while he was on his way to the police station that news of police invasion of his residence reached him. He noted that “he got information that police have invaded his house and killed four persons and carted away their bodies with many others injured, including his mother, who sustained bullet wounds”.
The lawyer who called on the United States, the United Kingdom, Amnesty International and other international agencies to investigate the incident alleged that the police intended to kill him. He claimed that the police killed over 20 persons.
The police has however denied Ejiofor’s claim, saying that nobody had any plan to assassinate him. According to the spokesman of the Anambra Police Command, Haruna Mohammed, the police operatives were only carrying out their official duties.
“You have seen the body of the two policemen burnt in their car, let them provide similar evidence of their members who they claimed were killed”, Mohammed said.
Read Mr. Ejiofor’s statement (as seen on PT);
On Sunday, I was called at around 8 p.m. by the DPO of Oraifite Police station. He never passed any message to me. Then in the morning, at about 6am, I got a call from my elder brother, Emeka Ejiofor, that police have invaded my premises led by Area Commader himself.
So, I requested to speak with the Area Commader. And which request was obliged by him. I requested to know why they were in my house because I was not around at that time. He only said that they came to arrest one of my boys who participated in a local conflict.
He however demanded to see me. I told him I wasn’t around and that I will be back around 10am, that when I come back, I will come to the station to see him to know why he is in my house. He said okay to my request. But he emphasised that time is of the essence, that I should keep to time.
So I became worried because I came back since 24th of November 2019 for my brother’s burial and I have been around since that time. The burial was done on 27th of November 2019, we stayed till Sunday when we went for Thanksgiving Service. I never had any issues with anybody, I have been indoors receiving people from all works of live.
When I came back by 10 a.m., I spoke with my mother, I told her I was going to see the Area Commader 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 left the house to my uncle’s place where I will pick him and that served as a saving grace to the carnage because the target was me.
So we were on our way to the Area Commader’s office through unconventional route when I got a call from my junior brother that the police were in my house and they have opened fire on all living objects in my house including all persons in my house.
I wàs like, somebody came to your house in the morning, you had a discussion with him on offenses I don’t even know about and I promised him as a lawyer that I was gonna be in his office at about 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Then what is happening in my house took me by surprise so I decided to observe.
So I now receded from that movement. And waited until I was further briefed on what was going on. So as the carnage proceeded, my brother kept on furnishing me with development in my house. And after few minutes of our discussion, he told me that four persons have been gummed down in my premises and the entire household set ablaze by the Police.
So I became confused. What have I done to deserve this kind of treatment? So, I decided to take refuge within the neighborhood. As the carnage progressed, the report kept on filtering in as to the atrocities they are commiting in my house including raping people around the area. In the end they took away the four corpses of the people they killed in my house to a place called Nkwo Oraifite and burnt them in their vehicle and left. That is all I know and can say.
However going forward when I read the police statememt yesterday I was shocked. One, the DPO came to my house at about 6 a.m., I spoke with him and I promised him I was going to be with him at about 10 a.m. Then how come he said somebody lodged a complaint against me at about 11 a.m. in the morning?
Then assuming without conceding to the fact that anybody lodged a complaint against me on a case of abduction and all those frivolous offenses, is that sufficient enough to warrant using force in my premises?
I am a Lawyer with addresses, I have two C=chambers, one in Abuja, one at Anambra state and I practice. I am a very serious legal practitioner, I go to court almost everyday. So not that I am going to run away from the police.
However, it is important for me to emphasize that Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor has maintained more than 17 years unbroken relationship with police hirachy. They can attest to that fact at Abuja. They know me as a peace loving man, a gentleman of the law, I relate with them in all capacity. I don’t look for problem. I am not the enemy of the police. So why should such thing happen?
I was also further informed on investigation that the people behind the carnage in my house include a controversial businesses man in Oraifite who has built library in Katsina and also schools in Katsina. That he has undertaking from the Fulani caliphate that he is the only one that will see to my killing.
If the intention of the people that came to my house was to arrest me, they would simply demand to see me or leave an invitation letter for me to come to the police. They are interested in getting me out of the way. They were actually interested in killing me. Because the goverment have seen me as a torn in their flesh. Because I am defending members of IPOB and Nnamdi Kanu.
Anyplace they arrest any IPOB member I will be there to bail them. I have been in court with them in many states and I have been defeating them in virtually almost all the cases because IPOB are merely exercising their rights as constitutionally provided, so they are not terrorist organization.
I am calling on UN, UK, Amnesty International to get involved and investigate the carnage in my house. As I speak to you, I am homeless. They burned down virtually everything.
And further more, it is important to clarify that many people were killed in the process. Now, I learnt that many people that were running inside the houses that were burning were burnt to death. So until when an access is given to people who will investigate what transpired in my house we cannot be able to determine the number of people that were killed. Because I can assure you that over 20 to 30 persons have been murdered on account of this incident.
My mum was also shot, she sustained a serious gun injury though she is receiving treatment.
So, I don’t know the offense I have committed for becoming a Lawyer for IPOB. I don’t know how I got it wrong. I am also calling on NBA to intervene. If my house can be attacked in this manner by the police in conjunction with the Millitary it shows that no one is safe in the SouthEast.
Ogbodo ThankGod is currently the Managing Director/CEO/Group Chief Editor at Naija Buzz News Network. He was the Chief Editor at NaijaBuzz.News before his new top leadership role. Ogbodo has years of experience in the Nigeria Media Industry and has co-founded some media companies. He is the founder of Ogbodo Solution Nigeria and 1Push.Ng. He loves playing football and is a strong supporter of Lionel Messi who he describes as the greatest footballer of all time.