The Anambra state police command have declared a lawyer, Ifeanyi
Ejiofor, a member of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB)
and his cohorts wanted over the alleged brutal murder of two police
officers on Monday in Oraifite, Ekwusigo Local Government Area of
The Commissioner of Police in the state, John Abang made declaration in
a state broadcast in Awka on Tuesday.
The Police Public Relations Officer of the Anambra Police Command, SP
Haruna Mohammed, had in a statement on Monday said two policemen died
in the clash between the police and IPOB members in Oraifite, while many
others were injured.
The statement reads, “On the 2/12/2019 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 in order
to arrest the suspect, who declined police invitation.
“However, as soon as police arrived 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 and other sister agencies, who cordoned off
the area in order to fish out the culprits, while joint patrol are still
ongoing in the town to prevent further breakdown of law and order.”
The statement said some arrests were made in the community, even as the
Commissioner of Police, CP John Bassey Abang, who also visited the
community, vowed to bring perpetrators to justice.
There was tension in Oraifite community since Monday after the bloody
clash between members of the IPOB, and Nigeria Police Force personnel in
An unconfirmed source said the O/C SARS in Ichi, Ekwusigo LGA, ASP
Joseph Akubo and the Area Commander of Oraifite, ACP Oliver Abbey died
in the fracas; while the Oraifite DPO and 15 others are hospitalised.
The business activities were paralysed in the area, even as residents
were sighted leaving the community in their numbers, because of the fear
of the unknown; as heavily armed police personnel laid siege of the
A source from the community said that a member of the town, one Mr
Ifeanyi Ejiofor, a lawyer, who was suspected to be an IPOB member, was
invited by police over allegations of abduction and assault, but when he
refused to honour police invitation, police personnel went to his house
during which the two groups clashed resulting into heavy casualties.
“In the morning hours, we heard gunshots. We learnt that police invaded
the house of our brother, Barr Ifeanyi Ejiofor, at Umunakwa Ifite
Oraifite. We heard that police and IPOB members clashed, resulting in
the death of police and IPOB members,” the source, which refused to
disclose his identity, said.
The traditional ruler of Oraifite community, Igwe Dr. Dan Udorji and the
President-General of Oraifite Improvement Union, Dr. Godson Okeke, were
said to be out of town. Several calls put across to them for their
comments on the development were not answered.
Meanwhile, Comrade Emma Powerful, IPOB’s Media and Publicity Secretary
in a statement on Tuesday condemned the unprovoked Nigeria police and
army invasion of the home of its lawyer, Barr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor barely
four days after the painful burial of his senior brother.
“It is a 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
counsels are not harassed, intimidated or killed.
“We don’t expect the roundly docile and cowardly Nigeria Bar
Association or their impotent and subdued National Judicial Council to
rise up in condemnation of this contemptuous behaviour 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
“For the police to say there was a criminal complaint against Barrister
Ejiofor bothering on assault and kidnapping four days after the funeral
of his brother is laughable. Criminal complaint from who? Who did he
kidnap, the body of his dead brother?
Powerful said the Nigeria Police claimed two of their officers were
killed by IPOB members but there were four dead bodies in the burnt out
” Who are the other two victims, where did they come from and what were
they doing in a police van?
“The truth remains that Nigeria Police and Army went to the home of
Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor with the sole purpose to kill him before next
month’s court date as is now their tradition.
“On getting there they opened fire on unarmed civilians as usual and the
two men that came out of the house were shot dead instantly. The police
carried their dead and dying bodies into their van to conceal evidence
and drove off.
“These are facts backed by evidence Anambra Police cannot deny.
“After killing two unarmed and innocent civilians, before they left the
police doused Barrister Ejiofor’s home with petrol and set it on fire.
This was the reality yesterday in Oraifite Anambra State. It was the
carelessness of the police in handling the petrol they used to drench
Barrister Ejiofor’s home and nearby businesses before setting them on
fire that trailed back and led to the fire that gutted their van.
It is on record that IPOB remains a peaceful movement,” he said.
Efforts made by our reporter to get the suspect, Barr Ifeanyi Ejiofor,
for his own side of the story was unsuccessful.