– 9th December, 2019
The High Commissioner,
British High Commission,
Plot 1075, Diplomatic Drive,
Central Business District Area,
RE: BLOODY INVASION OF BAR. IFEANYI EJIOFOR’S HOME, CARNAGE AND BLOOD-LETTING THAT TOOK PLACE THEREIN ON THE 2ND DAY OF DECEMBER, 2019, ASSASINATION ATTEMPT ON THE LIFE OF BAR . IFEANYI EJIOFOR, OSTENSIBLY MASTERMINDED BY THE COMMISSIONER OF POLICE, ANAMBRA STATE POLICE COMMAND, OFFICER-IN-CHARGE OF SPECIAL ARMED ROBBERY SQUAD; ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER OF POLICE IN CHARGE OF ORAIFITE AREA COMMAND HEADQUARTERS (COMMONLY REFERRED TO AS ASSASINS IN POLICE UNIFORM) AND EMEKA OFFOR.
REQUEST FOR YOUR INTERVENTION TO ENSURE A FULL SCALE INVESTIGATION INTO THE ABOVE HIGHLIGHTED HEINOUS CRIMES AND MAXIMUM JUSTICE FOR THE ENTIRE EJIOFOR FAMILY.
I am a senior member of the Nigerian Bar Association with a successful practice in diverse areas of law. I maintain two Law Offices in Abuja and Nnewi (Anambra State) with over 15(fifteen) Lawyers in my employ.
The fulcrum of this communication is to alert the Nigerian Bar Association on the obvious manipulation and visible subversion of the course of justice and orchestrated effort to exterminate my life by the security agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria when the police under Anambra State Police Command and other security agents brutally invaded and set ablaze my premises in Oraifite Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State, and consequently killed over six unarmed civilians on the 2nd December, 2019.
It is trite that under the Nigerian Legal Practice and System, any Legal Practitioner called to the Nigerian Bar has the right and indeed a duty to represent all manner of person(s) accused of any offence(s), the nature of the offence notwithstanding. This is commonly referred to as the “CAB RANK RULE”, which is covered by Rule 24(1) of the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners, 2007.
From the foregoing therefore, I have the right to represent any citizen in any part of the Federation.
My Late brother- Rev. Louis ChukwukpelumEjiofor died on the 9th day of October, 2019, following an unsuccessful neuro-surgery, and as part of the arrangements incidental to his funeral ceremony, friends, well-wishers, fans and professional colleagues were invited through my verified social media platforms including Facebook and Whatsapp, for the burial scheduled to take place on the 27th day of November, 2019.
In response to this invitation, my friends ,fans and professional colleagues that spread across the south east states dedicated a number of days to assist in clearing space for the funeral ceremony in my home. To this end, youths in their hundreds thronged my home on the 22nd day of November, 2019, and comprehensively cleared the entire compound of Late NzeOkolieEjiofor, and surrounding bushes already earmarked for important activities on the burial date.
Upon my arrival from Abuja on the 24th day of November, 2019, another set of friends and fans, mainly comprising of youths, visited in the morning of 25thNovember, 2019, and cleared/fixed the dilapidated untarred road leading to my residence, after which a handful of them offered to assist further on the actual date of burial with serving the invited guests, and to stay till the date of thanksgiving service scheduled to take place on the 1st day of December, 2019.
The burial went on successfully with numerous friends and well-wishers, including prominent Nigerian citizens in attendance. Those that could not make it on the burial date, were able to visit till the date of thanksgiving on the 1st day of December, 2019. The thanksgiving service which was held at St. Matthew’s Anglican Church Ifite, Oraifite, also had high profile Nigerians in attendance.
The thanksgiving service above referred, brought to an end the funeral ceremonies and on the basis of this, handful of youths still remaining in the house were specially requested by my humble self to evacuate the remaining tents used for the burial, empty bottles, chairs and further clean up the debris in the compound before leaving to their various stations on Monday, being the 2nd day of December, 2019. Money was also made available to them for their transportation back to their various stations before I left my house around 9:00pm on Sunday, being the 1st day of December, 2019, to a Hotel where I had intended to spend two days, to enable me attend to Court matters scheduled for the 2ndand 3rd of December, 2019, before my departure to Abuja on the 4th day of December, 2019.
MY INTERFACE WITH THE ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER OF POLICE, ORAIFITE AREA COMMAND HEADQUARTERS
At about 6:00am on the 2nd day of December, 2019, I received a distress telephone call from my immediate elder brother (Evang. Emeka Ejiofor), that Policemen led by the Area Commander, Oraifite Area Command Headquarters has besieged my house. I requested to speak with the Area Commander whom I have not met before, which request he obliged. I then requested to know why they were in my house at such time of the day, he only told me on the said telephone conversation which was fully recorded, that they were in my house to arrest one of my wards who allegedly took part in a communal conflict, he further demanded to see me but I told him that I was not at home at the time in question. The ACP never told me during this discussion that they were actually looking for me or investigating me on account of any allegation.
I promised him that I would be in his office on or before 10:30am to enable me ascertain the reason for the early morning invasion of my house. Though he insisted on seeing me before 8:00 or 9:00am, which I told him would not be convenient for me but repeatedly assured him of my availability on or before 10:30am to 11:00am, before he left my house.
On account of this strange development, I immediately called off all my programs for the day and proceeded to the house to see my mother before leaving for the ACP’s office. I got home at about 10:00am and had a brief discussion with my mother before leaving the house. But before I left the house, I pleaded with few persons in my house to ensure that they carry out the evacuation of the items still in the premises and all debris before leaving the compound.
I was already on my way to the ACP’s office when it occurred to me that my uncle should be carried along in that meeting, since they are familiar with happenings in the village. Not long after leaving my uncle’s house through an unconventional route to the ACP’s office, my phones started ringing, apparently distress calls from my younger brother this time, who informed me that the men of Special Armed Robbery Squad are firing at every living object in the house, including the youths who were working for me.
I was initially shocked at such development but was advised by my uncle to remain calm, as we observed the unfolding development. The very few youths who summoned courage to come out amidst the gunshots, managed to inform the trigger happy officers that I had left the house for the ACP’s office. They had barely delivered this message when four of them were gunned down at the spot, my aged mother was not spared as she could not run as fast as possible for her dear life, she also sustained gunshot injury. All my siblings and particularly my late brother’s wife who was still on the mourning bed were not spared by the invading assassins in Police Uniform.
I was informed that as the carnage progressed, knowing the antecedents of some of the smart officers on such deadly assignment, some of the courageous youths took away two of their slain friends, and hid them behind my house. The invading policemen quickly evacuated some of the other dead bodies and transferred them to their waiting hilux van, took them to NkwoOzuluogu market, a place nearly a kilometer away from my house and burnt them. The invading officers did not leave without setting my entire household on fire, but hurriedly returned on reinforcement with soldiers to burn down houses in the neighborhood, including those they had earlier left in my house. On the whole, they burnt down a total of 22 houses in my home and within the neighborhood.
Pertinent to crave the indulgence of the High Commissioner for the following questions curiously begging for answers, and to be noted accordingly, to wit:
1. The recorded conversation with the ACP Oraifite Area Command, had him stated as follows:
a. That he was in my house to arrest my ward who participated in a local conflict in the community.
b. That he gave me between 8-9am to come to his office as time was of the essence, though he later acceded to my request to come between 10-11am.
c. That he never mentioned to me during this conversation that I was being investigated on any allegation that has to do with abduction, infliction of grievous bodily harm, conduct likely to cause breach of peace or any other offence(s).
2. The High Commissioneris requested to note that my phone GPRS which is now in the well of the investigating authority, has the following information regarding my movement:
a. That as at 6am when I spoke with the ACP in charge of Oraifite Area Command Headquarters, I was not in Oraifite.
b. That as at 10am and shortly after, I was at home to see my mother before leaving the house for the ACP’s office.
c. That the bloody invasion of my house took place between the hours of about 10:15am to 10:50am in the morning 2nd December, 2019before subsequent reinforcement that saw the introduction of soldiers majorly made up of Fulani extraction who utilized the opportunity to loot at random, steal and rape women on sight. So that the alleged complaint lodged against my person at 11:30am, falsely but mischievously relied upon by the Anambra State Police P.RO., in his statement does not avail the Police in the circumstance of this calculated design to assassinate me.
3. Thirdly Sir, the Inspector General of Police had upon his assumption of duty, banned the involvement of SARS operatives in matters not clearly on proven cases of Robbery, Kidnapping and Armed Robbery. They were banned from taking part in civil disputes arising from transaction in lands, leadership tussle, enforcement of debt recovery, etc, so that they have no business coming to my house if not to assassinate me as clearly underscored by their modus operandi.
4. Fourthly Sir, assuming without conceding that the true intention of the Police was to arrest me on the basis of the complaint allegedly lodged against me at 11:30am of 2nd December, 2019, is it conventional that the Police investigates allegations before receiving complaint against the purported offender? Because the first visit to my house was between 5:30am and 6:00am and subsequent bloody invasion of my premises between the hours of about 10:15am to 10:50am, all took place before the alleged complaint was lodged at 11.30am.
5. Assuming without conceding that my house was invaded on account of the alleged complaint on a case of abduction, was the abducted person(s) seen anywhere within or around my premises at the time of the invasion?
6. The Anambra State PPRO’s Statement alleged that they “mobilized and rushed to the scene in order to arrest the suspect who declined Police Invitation”. If the Police received the alleged complaint at about 11:30am of 2nd December 2019, at what time was the invitation issued? At what time was the said invitation declined that warranted the mobilization and deployment of SARS operatives to my peaceful and mourning home?
7. My phone GPRS will also indicate that on each occasion of the Police invasion, I was not at home. It will also show with exactitude where I was at each occasion they unlawfully invaded, so that the entire bloody onslaught, carnage and bloodletting took place in my absence.
8. Furthermore Sir, as a Legal Practitioner with a well-known offices in Abuja and Anambra State, who is seriously into litigation, does the rule of engagement allow the deadly SARS operatives to operate in a manner akin to hunting an Armed Robber, Kidnapper or a murderer, in my mourning home?
9. Would anybody have believed the account that people were killed in my house if those courageous youths did not manage to hide those two corpses?
10. Is there any extant Law empowering the Nigeria Police, the military and other security agencies to destroy and/or burn down tax payers’ houses and properties on the pretext of investigation of an alleged complaint or upon their failure to arrest an alleged offender?
11. Assuming without conceding that contrary to the Police statement, the complaint was about a conflict between the two factions of the masquerade groups in Oraifiteas being falsely circulated in some quarters, particularly in EmekaOffor’s owned Blaze FM Radio station; does it mean that the Police did not even know the facts of the alleged complaint pursuant to which they invaded my premises?
The same Blaze FM station clearly acting in connivance with the assailants paid by their master was first to publish on their face book page that the attack in my home was on account of disagreement between purported IPOB members and the Police, but hurriedly pulled it down after some hours to state that the attack on my home was on account of conflict between two warring masquerade groups, all in their desperate but calculated bid to rope me into heinous capital offences. Attached and mark as ANNEXURE IE6 are copies of the above contradictory posts.
12. Does the fact that I am the Legal Adviser to the Otueke Cultural Association Oraifite, make me the leader or member of the group? Attached and marked as ANNEXURE IE7 is the Certified True copy of the Trustees of the Otueke Cultural Association. Nowhere therein is my name mentioned as a Trustee of the Association.
13. As a lawyer of many years standing, if the intention of the invading SARS Operatives was not to kill me, as clearly underscored by their action, am I not entitled to an Invitation or Invitation letter from the Police Authority requesting me to appear on a certain date to answer to an allegation leveled against me?
14. Why is the Anambra State Police Command shielding itself or keeping mute over the mayhem its personnel, the military and other security agencies perpetrated in my ancestral home, including the burning of houses and other properties valued at over (N700,000.000.00) Seven Hundred Million Naira, as well as killing and maiming of defenceless and unarmed Citizens?
15. Is the instant contrive against me not inimical to the provision of Rule 24 of the Rules of Conduct for Legal Practitioners, 2007, that placed a duty on Lawyers to represent their Client(s) to the best of their ability within the confines of the law?
The only plausible offence I committed in the real sense of it is because I am the lawyer to Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB who has won virtually all frivolous charge filed against the members of IPOB in various courts’ of competent jurisdiction across the south-south and south-East states, including Abuja.
Attached for your ease of reference Sir, are copies of pictures and a video clip showing the carnage, bloodletting and wanton destruction carried out in my house variously marked as ANNEXURES IE1 to IE5. (Viewer’s discretion advised)
I make bold to state most respectfully Sir, that my thorough investigation and findings revealed the following:
a. That the order to arrest me dead or alive, and shoot at sight at any person who may protest my arrest, was given by Emeka Offor, and carried out by the most corrupt Commissioner of Police Anambra State, officer in Charge of SARS Anambra State and the ACP Oraifite Area Command Headquarters.
b. That Emeka Offor in order to curry favour from the Government undertook to assassinate me using the SARS operatives in the usual manner a number of Oraifite indigenes were assassinated in the past by Emeka Offor using the then CSP Nwafor former O.C. SARS Awkuzu, Anambra State. Arc. Christian Okwummuo was killed by SARS operatives from Awkuzu led by former O/C SARS, RTD CSP James Nwafor, till date the family is yet to be provided with the corpse of their dear son, despite an Order made by Ihiala High Court which found the Police culpable of the allegation on extra judicial killing. It is now a subject of Appeal before the Court of Appeal Enugu. Only on May 2017, combined SARS operatives from Anambra and Imo invaded Jesse Hotel Awka at the wee hours of the night to assassinate the Chairman of the Hotel on Emeka Offor’s behest, it took the intervention of former Inspector General of Police before the officers on the illegal work could be dispersed and Chief Nnanna Nsofor consequently left unhurt.
c. Further to this motivation, is EmekaOffor’s desperate bid to remain in the good books of the Federal Government so that he will be exempted from the present massive fraud investigation being conducted in the oil sector by the EFCC, particularly as it pertains to the public outcry for the investigation of TURN AROUND MAINTANANCE CONTRACT against the backdrop of millions of USD that went down the drain in the contract and has remain unaccounted for.
Furthermore Sir, the Anambra State Commissioner of Police, had quickly declared me wanted to enable them cover their evil tracks on the heinous crime committed in my house. I have been reliably informed that the Commissioner of Police Anambra State, had issued an order to his subordinates to shoot me at sight, and as it stands today, my life is increasingly exposed to possible conspiracy of extinction in the hands of deadly police officers.
It is pertinent to stress that being a law abiding citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and a Legal Practitioner who firmly believes in the Rule of Law, I have no problem whatsoever making myself available to the Nigerian Police if indeed their intention is/was to investigate an alleged complaint, arrest and/or prosecute me if found culpable
It is important to reiterate that I am not the enemy of the Police, as I have maintained 17years of unbroken relationship with the Police hierarchy both in Abuja and other states of the federation. They have my records and profile and should be in the best position to state if I am a violent person or a man of questionable character.
1. I call on the United Kingdom, to intervene in the circumstance and prevail on the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Nigerian Police to immediately set aside the Declaration made against me on the 3rd December, 2019, declaring me “a wanted person”, and to fully give effect to my fundamental human rights.
2. I further call on the United Kingdom, to prevail on the Federal Government of Nigeria to set up an independent Investigative Panel to investigate the incident that occurred at my ancestral home in Oraifite, Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State, on the 2nd day of December, 2019.
3. I finally crave the indulgence of the United Kingdom for a proactive oversight and intervention in the light of this obvious travesty of justice against me, in view of the extraordinary circumstances prevailing in the case.
May the High Commissioner accept the assurances of my deepest and esteemed regards, Sir.
IFEANYI EJIOFOR, ESQ.
P.P: I.C. EJIOFOR & CO
Submitted by: Barrister Aloy Ejimakor, Special Counsel to Mazi Nnamdi Kanu & The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).