By Olisemeka Obeche
The Anambra state police command on Tuesday declared Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor, a legal counsel to the proscribed pro-Biafra group, the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) wanted over alleged cases of conspiracy and murder of the commander of Oraifite Area Command, ACP Oliver Abbey and ASP Joseph Okubo.
In a terse statement, the command said it had obtained a warrant of arrest in respect of Ejiofor whom it described as “a member of the proscribed IPOB.” The arrest, it said was “over alleged cases of conspiracy, murder, treasonable felony, arson and armed robbery.”
The two police officials lost their lives on Monday when people the police said it “suspected to be IPOB members” clashed with police officers at Oraifite, Ekwusigo local government area of Anambra state.
The bloody clash which took place around 11:30am, this paper gathered, followed a formal complaint against Barrister Ejiofor, who was accused of abduction, assault resulting in harm and malicious damage to property. The police did not disclose any details regarding the cases it cited or the persons or victims of the abduction, assault and malicious damage.
Ejiofor was reportedly concluding burial rites of his late brother when police operatives invaded his house at Umunakwa Ifite village in Oraifite to arrest him followed by a clash with the men the police said it suspects to be IPOB members. The clash led to the death of the police officers and burning of their patrol van.
According to an official statement issued by the Anambra state PPRO, Haruna Mohammed, as soon as police operatives arrived the suspect’s house to carry out the arrest, armed men suspected to be IPOB members swooped on them, set ablaze a 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.
Following the attack, the state police command deployed reinforcements from the State Headquarters comprising of Police Mobile Force (PMF), Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and Special Anti Cult (SPACs) Units in conjunction with the Army and other security agencies who cordoned off the area in their bid to fish out the culprits. It was gathered that many shops and properties were razed in the wake of the crackdown on the pro-Biafra members.
Efforts made by our reporter to get the suspect, Barr Ifeanyi Ejiofor, for his own side of the story was unsuccessful; as his line was not reachable; neither was there any IPOB member on ground to speak on the development.