The Police on Tuesday declared Ifeanyi Ejiofor, lawyer of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader Nnamdi Kanu, wanted.
It is in connection with the death of two policemen who were allegedly killed by IPOB supporters at the Nkwo area of Oraifite in Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State on Monday.
Kanu had alleged that Ejiofor’s Oraifite home was invaded by policemen and soldiers, with three IPOB members killed and others injured.
Yesterday, Anambra State Commissioner of Police John Abang, at a briefing in Awka, the state capital, said Ejiofor was wanted in connection with the killings.
He said: “I’ll like Nigerians to know that Ifeanyi Ejiofor (a member of the proscribed IPOB) has been declared wanted.
“I’ll seek the cooperation of law-abiding Nigerians, East, West, North and South that wherever they find this individual, they should report to the nearest police station for possible arrest and prosecution based on the rules and laws of Nigeria.”
Police spokesperson, Haruna Mohammed, said the two policemen were killed by suspected IPOB members while others were inflicted with machete cuts.
He said: “On December 2, 019 at about 11:30 am, there was a formal complaint against one Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor ‘m’ (a member of the proscribed IPOB) in Oraifite on alleged case of abduction, assault occasioning harm and malicious damage to property.
“Following the report, Police Patrol teams led by the Area Commander, Oraifite ACP Oliver Abbey, mobilised and rushed to the scene to arrest the suspect who declined Police invitation.
“However, as soon as Police arrived at the house, armed men suspected to be IPOB members descended on the Police, set ablaze one Patrol vehicle and attacked them with rifles and machetes.
“As a result of the attack, two police officers whose identities are being withheld were killed by the suspected IPOB members while others were inflicted with machete cuts.
“The injured personnel were rushed to the hospital for medical attention and are presently receiving treatment.
“Consequently, the Command deployed reinforcements from the State Headquarters, comprising of PMF, SARS and Special Anti-Cult Units in conjunction with the Army/other sister agencies, who cordoned off the area to fish out the culprits.
“Joint patrol is still ongoing in the town to prevent further breakdown of law and order.
“Some arrests were made. The Commissioner of Police John Abang who is on his way to the scene has vowed to bring perpetrators of this dastardly act to justice.”
But, IPOB accused the police of setting Ejiofor’s home ablaze.
In a statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, the group wondered why the Police would raze the lawyer’s home after killing two unarmed and innocent civilians.
IPOB said: “The unprovoked Nigeria police and army invasion of the home of our lawyer Ifeanyi Ejiofor barely four days after the painful burial of his senior brother is proof that those running Nigeria have descended into the abyss of iniquity from which they may never recover.
“Not even during the darkest days of Abacha’s dictatorship did anyone witness such brazen intimidation of a legal counsel or the attempted assassination of a defence counsel in a high profile case.
“It is the golden rule of every legal system under the sun that defence counsel are not harassed, intimidated or killed but it seems nothing is sacrosanct in the present circumstance.
“We don’t expect the roundly docile and cowardly Nigeria Bar Association or their impotent and subdued National Judicial Council to rise in condemnation of this contemptuous behaviour by Aso Rock in this latest attempt to kill Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor.
“This level of dictatorial impunity against the rule of law, judicial process and natural justice must not be condoned by any right-thinking person.”
The group described the statement issued by the Police as self-incriminating and laden with blatant lies.
IPOB added: “For the police to say there was a criminal complaint against Ejiofor bordering on assault and kidnapping four days after the funeral of his brother is most stupid and laughable.
“A criminal complaint from whom? Who did he kidnap, the body of his dead brother?
“Who did he assault, Justice Binta Nyako? Where, when and how did he commit these crimes? The Nigeria Police never wrote to Ejiofor neither did they invite him to attend their station.
“This is a black lie. If they did, they should release the call log of the phone they claim they used in calling him. Does the Nigerian Police think the public is as daft as they are?
“The only reason for this unprovoked criminal invasion with deadly intent is to kill Ejiofor and to stop him from attending Federal High Court Abuja next month where he has all but defeated the Attorney-General in the matter of Federal Government of Nigeria versus IPOB because Nigeria has no case against IPOB.
“The same strategy of ‘invade and kill’ doctrine they deployed in Isiama-Afaraukwu the home of our leader on 14 September 2017 a month before he is due in court is what played out in Oraifite yesterday (Monday).
IPOB faulted the claim that two officers were killed by IPOB members, saying there were four dead bodies in a burnt police vehicle.
“What any investigative journalist worth his salt should ask is, who are the other two victims? Where did they come from and what were they doing in a police van?
“Answers to these questions will reveal that Nigeria Police Command in Anambra State are unrepentant liars.
“The truth remains that Nigeria Police and Army went to the home of Ejiofor with the sole purpose to kill him before next month’s court date as is now their tradition.”