From Isaac Ojo Nnewi
Oraifite community in Ekwusigo local government area of Anambra State early Sunday morning became a battle field for security operatives and members of the Indigineuos People of Biafra.
The bloody clash which allegedly left many dead started when some security operatives stormed the residence of the IPOB lawyer, Barr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor around 2.00am.
A resident who pleaded for anonymity said that he and his family had to escape for their dear lives as the shooting continued all night.
“The sound of gunshots in Oraifite was unprecedented. The first thing that came to my mind is that the community is under siege.
“Attempt to escape to Nnewi was not possible because the invaders blocked the Nkwo-Nkwo road and we have to escape through the bush paths, ” he said.
Another respondent claimed that the bloody attack which started at about 2.00am early Sunday morning actually ended at about 5.00am.
He said: “I saw many people escaping toward Ozubulu road because the roads to Nnewi were blocked by the attackers.
“I suspect that the attack was carried out by Fulani herdsmen because ordinarily I don’t expect conventional security agencies to dispatch so much arms and ammunition to effect a simple arrest.”
He said emphatically that the many people died during the Sunday morning raid and that attackers went away with their dead victims.
“When the shooting stopped, some of us who are brave returned and we saw them loading their dead victims into some of the Hilux vehicles used for the early morning operation.
Meanwhile, there was an incident at St Mary’s Cathedral area, Uruagu-Nnewi that appeared to be a spill over of the Oraifite bloody clash.
Some men suspected to be unknown gunmen allegedly attacked an Hilux vehicle conveying unknown number of soldiers, the soldiers an witnessed claimed were transferred to another vehicle after which the Hilux was set ablaze.
The IPOB spokesperson, Mr Emma Powerful has early Sunday morning sent out a message to journalists about the attack on the residence of Barr Ejiofor.
He said “Bar Ejiofor’s house been invaded by Fulani Jihadists soldiers now and they went to eliminate him, the world must hear the evil Nigeria and her security agencies are committing.
“This is 2.30am time they soundererd his country home, is it an offense for someone to defend IPOB. Bar. Ejiofor is doing his job as a lawyer, where in the world a legal paractioner would be harassing because he represents an organization. The Nigerian Army invaded and burnt his house on 2nd December 20 19 and killed more than 10 people. since then they are still trailing and harassing him. The whole world must hear because Nigeria government must get what they are looking for from IPOB.”
In a statement signed by Emeka Umeagbalasi and Barr Chidimma Udegbunam of Intersociety, Onitsha, Eastern Nigeria, the group said that it has called Barr Ejiofor and received updates on the wee hour of this morning’s invasion of his family house at Oraifite by armed soldiers, joined by Police, DSS and Civil Defense operatives.
“They had invaded and laid siege on same at about 2.30am and left around past 4.am. The invading security operatives had jumped the perimeter fence of the compound after cutting its security cable and shot in different directions. The named security operatives had also in their jihadist Fulani Herdsmen-like invasion, stormed the scene with fifteen hilux vans and a native doctor whose body was dotted with charms.
“These were disclosed by Barr Ifeanyi Ejiofor’s elder brother, Joel Ejiofor, who witnessed the attack. The respected Human Rights Lawyer who is also the principal attorney to the Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and several other groups and individuals, was unable to be tracked and abducted or instantly shot dead because he was hiding somewhere in his house.
“However, the invading Government security operatives did not spare the life of the Lawyer’s Personal Assistant, Samuel Uzo Okoro (Biggy) who was shot and killed inside the compound.
“The late Samuel Okoro had woken up as a result of noises and gunshots to find out what was going on when soldiers shot and killed him instantly. Unable to locate the Lawyer and having shot and killed his PA, Samuel Okoro, the soldiers and others carried his corpse and dumped same in the boot of a Camry car belonging to Barr Ifeanyi Ejiofor and ordered his chief driver (fondly called ‘Papa’ or ‘Elder’) to drive the car and follow them with the corpse.
“The invading Government security operatives also abducted Barr Ejiofor’s elder brother, Joel Ejiofor and the Lawyer’s two domestic staff, named Ugochukwu and Chikezie and bundled them away. The Lawyer’s elder brother, Joel was later pushed out of one of the hilux vans at Ojoto en route Awka, Anambra State and he has since returned alive and unhurt. The invading soldiers and other security operatives were also discovered to have been mobilized from Abuja and Anambra State including soldiers of the 302 Artillery Regiment, Onitsha and Police, DSS and Civil Defense operatives from Anambra State and their Abuja counterparts, ” the statement concluded.
Meanwhile, the Anambra State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Tochukwu Ikenga(DSP) when contacted on phone said he has not gotten the details of what happened in Oraifite.
He, however, corrected the impression that security operatives were responsible for the attack as according to him “security operatives protect lives and property and not attack.”