- Ifeanyi Ejiofor, lawyer to Nnamdi Kanu, dismisses reports alleging that the IPOB leader has fled the country to avoid arrest
- He says he has been unable to contact his client since soldiers raided the home of the pro-Biafra activist
- Ejiofor states that the burden rests on the military to tell the world where Kanu is
Ifeanyi Ejiofor, lawyer to Nnamdi Kanu has raised that possibility that the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) might have been killed by soldiers during a military raid on his residence.
Ejiofor made the claim on Tuesday, September 19, in a statement sent to NAIJ.com in reaction to reports alleging that Kanu had fled the country to avoid arrest.
The lawyer said such reports were being spread by the authorities to divert the attention from the true state of Kanu’s well-being.
He said: “In view of the rumours being peddled in both electronic and print media that Nnamdi Kanu (my Client) has fled the country, I consider it compelling and obligatory to correct this false rhetoric, in regard to my Client state of being.
“Two consecutive times, the soldiers launched an unprovoked bloody raid on my client's residence, during which onslaught many of his relatives, friends and wards were massacred in their numbers, some arrested and taken to an unknown destination till date.
“I have no doubt whatsoever that stories making round that my Client has fled outside Nigeria, were planted to divert attention from their murderous raid on my client's house.
“I made last contact with my client few minutes into the bloody onslaught in his home on the 14th day of September 2017."
The lawyer said he has not heard from Kanu since the raid on the IPOB leader’s home.
He said the burden rests on the military to tell the world where his client is.
“The soldiers who are now alleging that he fled outside Nigeria, should be in a position to tell the world if they have smuggled him out into Cameroon.
“The soldiers must have made possible contact with him on this 14th day of September 2017, when they invaded his house on a bloody raid, and by virtue of which position, they should tell the world if he was caught by fire of bullets in the hit of the bloody onslaught or he was arrested alive.
“In all probability, my client may have been killed by the invading soldiers who are now seeking ways to fool the world into believing that he has left the country."
Ejiofor called on the military authorities to stop diverting attention of the public on the IPOB leader’s whereabouts and produce his client.
The lawyer also appealed to members of IPOB to remain calm, assuring them that the military onslaught in the southeast was receiving speedy attention from the international community.
“On the face of this ugly development, I still passionately appeal to the members of indigenous people of Biafra and igbos at large to remain calm.
Be assured that our outcry on the present carnage going on in the south East is receiving speedy attention from the international community, as clearly manifested in uniform condemnation of the ethnic cleansing in the south East of Nigeria.
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"I still advise, most strongly that it is better for the members of indigenous people Of Biafra to stay safe, and gladly await far reaching sanctions, and reprieve, that follow timely intervention of comity of nation,” he said.
Meanwhile, as controversy trail the Nigerian army's declaration of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist group and the proscription of the group by southeast governors, President Muhammadu Buhari has reportedly signed a proclamation proscribing the group.
In a bid to take the heat off the Nigerian army, the president signed the presidential proclamation on Sunday before leaving for the US to attend the 72nd session of United Nations General Assembly, This Day reports.
A source in the attorney general’s office reportedly claimed that the president has effectively initiated the formal process of proscribing IPOB in accordance with the provisions of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2011.
The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN) is expected to head to court soon to give legal backing to the presidential proclamation.
Watch this NAIJ.com exclusive video of Nnamdi Kanu's lawyers reacting the army's invasion of his client's residence: