By; PAMELA EBOH, Awka
The chairman of the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law, Emeka Umeagbalasi has called on the Nigerian Government to stop the act of madness and crudity.
He made the call on the heels of Sunday invasion of the country home of the legal representative of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Bar Ifeanyi Ejiofor by security operatives in Oraifite, Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State.
Narrating the event as he was detailed in a statement, Umeagbalasi said, “I called Bar Ifeanyi Ejiofor and received updates in the wee hour of this morning’s invasion of his family house at Oraifite by armed soldiers, joined by Police, DSS and Civil Defence operatives.
“They had invaded abd laid siege about 2:30am amd left around past 4:00am. The invading secyrity operatives jumped the perimeter fence of the compound after cutting its security cable and shot different directions.
“The respected human rights lawyer was unable to be tracked and abducted or instantly shot because he was hidong somewhere in his house. The invading government security operatives did not spare the life of the lawyer’s personal Assustant, Samuel Uzo Okoro who was shot and killed inside the compound.
“The late Samuel Okoro had woken up as a result of noises and gunshots to find oout what was going on when soldiers shot and killed him instantly.
“The invading government security operatives also abducted Bar Ejiofor’s elder brother, Joel Ejiofor and the lawyer’s two domestic aides, named Ugochukwu and Chikezie and bundled them away but Joel was later pushed out of one of the Hilux vans at Ojoto.
“By these crudities, the Nigerian Government is setting the country on fire the more.
“Under Nigeria’s extant laws, applicable globally, Barr Ifeanyi Ejiofor and other licensed legal practitioners have the right and duty to represent and defend any citizen or citizens or national or nationals irrespective of the gravity of crime(s) alleged to have been committed.
“If Barr Ifeanyi Ejiofor is legitimately wanted for any crime, due processes must be followed to the letter. This is more so when he called and informed the chief police officer in the area (ACP Afolabi) of his being around for weekend rest.”
While condemning the action, he enjoined Nigeria security forces to withdraw and discontinue their siege and follow due process.
The Media and Publicity Secretary of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Emma Powerful in his reaction said,
“Is it an offense for someone to defend IPOB? Barr Ejiofor is doing his job as a lawyer. Where in the world is a legal practitioner harrassed because he represents an organization?
“The whole world must hear this because the Nigerian government must get what they are looking for from IPOB.”
He recalled that the Nigerian Army had on December 2, 2019 invaded and burnt Ejiofor’s house and killed more than 10 people.
He added, “Since then, they have been trailing and harassing him.
According to a source, the IPOB lawyer returned home for the weekend on Saturday evening and only informed the Oraifite Area Commander (ACP Afolabi) and few others that he was around.
Effort to get reactions from the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Ikenga Tochukwu failed as he did not pick his call.