Ade Adesomoju, Abuja
One year after the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, got missing following soldiers’ invasion of his home in Afaraukwu, Abia State, on September 14, 2017, his lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, has asked the military to explain his whereabouts.
In a statement on Friday, Ejiofor who said he received a distress call from Kanu in the middle of the military operation at his home, also called on various international organisations to activate “possible diplomatic channel” to probe “crimes against humanity.”
The military had in September last year deployed soldiers in the South-East in what it code-named Operation Python Dance to quell the agitation for the actualisation of the Republic of Biafra.
The soldiers, during the operation, invaded the home of Kanu, who was then on bail granted him by the Federal High Court in Abuja where he was being prosecuted alongside others on charges of treasonable felony.
Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja, before whom Kanu and others were being prosecuted, had however ruled in a judgment she delivered in January 2018 that there was no evidence showing that the missing IPOB leader was in the custody of the Army.
The suit was filed by Ejiofor.
However, in his Friday’s statement titled, “Remembering the ‘Black Day’ at Afaraukwu and attendant unending agony,” Ejiofor recounted what he said was his last communication with Kanu during the military operation at the IPOB leader’s home.
He stated, “I remember vividly the last words of my client on this cursed day. It went thus: ‘Ejiofor, my house is under siege, soldiers are forcing themselves in, shooting at everything in sight, you can hear the sound of the sporadic gunshots from the background; please alert the world to the development in my house.
“I can see it clearly from my room that they have gunned down many of my people downstairs, as they advance rapidly to my room; my life is no longer safe; tell the British Government, the United States and the world that the Nigerian government should be held responsible if anything happens to me.’”
Calling on foreign governments, international organisations, including the United Nations and the European Union to probe the invasion, Ejiofor called on the military to release his client.
He said, “We use this moment of sober reflection to once again call on responsible international organisations, foreign governments, United Nations, European Union, the British government and the comity of nations, to immediately activate possible diplomatic channel that would ensure prompt probe of this crime against humanity and accurate inventory of murderous military onslaught in the home of Nnamdi Kanu and his whereabouts till date.”
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