The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has alleged that the Police in Anambra state invaded the house of his lawyer, Mr Ifeanyi Ejiofor, in Ifite Oraifite in Ekwusigo local government area of the state and killed two persons, just as many were injured.
He disclosed this on Monday in a statement he personally signed and made available to Daily Trust in Akwa.
But a source in Oraifite, who craved anonymity, said that the fracas was between two cult groups, namely, Eke and Afor groups, who have been fighting in the town for some time now.
According to witnesses, the cult group recently had clash at a burial ceremony in the community, where many people from one of the groups sustained varying degree of injuries.
“Confirmed reports indicated that a combined team of Nigeria Police and the military assassination squad invaded the home of my lawyer Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor in Oraifite Anambra State, this morning Monday December 2 in a bid to kill him and his family members.
“Sadly three innocent Biafrans were killed by this invading force at his residence. This comes on the heel of yet another killing of two IPOB family members who were peacefully gathered in Arondizuogu yesterday, 1 December.Their bodies are still in the morgue.
“Police and Army must know that the time is fast approaching when British diplomatic clout and protection may not be enough to shield them from the consequences of their daily crimes against innocent Biafrans.
“Attacking the home of my lawyer is a step too far and the only effect it will have is to hasten the disintegration of Nigeria,” Kanu’s statement read in part.
However, a witness claimed that the Police actually shot and killed two persons in the house of Mr. Ejiofor, in Oraifite, saying it was in retaliation of the youth in the community who killed two policemen and burnt them at the Nkwo area of Oraifite.
The sources added that the police might have gone to Ejiofor’s house in error thinking that the suspects they were looking for are the people who gathered at the IPOB’s lawyer house.
The source further said that the police, on reaching the lawyer’s house, had altercations with the IPOB members in his house. This led to the Police shooting at the IPOB members and in reaction the angry youths of Oraifite mobilized and attacked the policemen, killing two policemen in the process, the witness narrated.
The source noted that the incident does not have anything to do with either Mr Ejiofor or members of IPOB, saying it was unfortunate the police went to Ejiofor’s house.
Daily Trust gathered that at about 1:10pm on Monday, the atmosphere in entire community was charged as the bodies of the slained policemen were seen lying in their operation vehicle.
The charged atmosphere in the community affected movements as residents deserted the roads for fear of Police arrest or clashes.
The traditional ruler of Oraifite, Igwe Dr. Dan Udeorji, confirmed the incident but said he does not have the details as he was at an occasion when the incident was reported to him through a text message.
“It is very unfortunate that some people can be very quick with guns to kill. Why did they not arrest the culprits instead of shooting them, there is no need for loss of lives at this time, in fact any time.
“I think every problem can be settled through dialogue instead of killing people. We must however maintain peace at all time; killing and rioting will not lead the country to anywhere, government need to re-educate the Police and the Army. Killing citizens is not the way,” he said.
However, the Police spokesman in the state, Haruna Mohammed, confirmed the incident, saying that two policemen were killed.
According to Mohamed, on the 2/12/2019 at about 11:30am,there was a formal complaint against One Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor, a member of the proscribed IPOB in Oraifite on alleged case of abduction, assault occasioning harm and malicious damage to property.
He said, following the report, Police Patrol teams led by the Area Commander of 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 personnels were rushed to the hospital for medical attention and are presently receiving treatment” he said.
He said that the Command had 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 in order to fish out the culprits, while joint patrol are still ongoing in the town to prevent further breakdown of law and order.
He however said that some arrests have been made.
He said the state’s Commissioner of Police, CP John B.Abang, who is on his way to the scene has vowed to bring perpetrators of this dastardly act to justice.