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Saturday, 7 December 2019

POLICE ATTACK ON BARRISTER IFEANYI EJIOFOR IS AN AFFRONT AGAINST LAWYERS AND THE JUDICIARY GLOBALLY

POLICE ATTACK ON BARRISTER IFEANYI EJIOFOR IS AN AFFRONT AGAINST LAWYERS AND THE JUDICIARY GLOBALLY

The world over, the 'Right To Counsel' is generally acceptable as a fundamental service to the society where sane beings and sanity are valued. What really is this 'Right To Counsel'? Simply put, it is the lawful possession of the power of a contracted legal practitioner (lawyer), to stand in defense or render legal assistance based on his training to an accused person or group of persons. If the person or persons (defendants) involved cannot afford a lawyer, the government of the day is required to provide one in a case, with full legal fees or expenses duly paid. The 'Right To Counsel' therefore, is generally regarded as a constituent of the right to fair trial in a court of law. This right is often included in the constitutions of countries.

By every implication, all accused persons have the inalienable right to legal counsels (lawyers), irrespective of the magnitude of whatever crime or case involved. With the above explicit definition, is it therefore legally or constitutionally acceptable even globally, for Mazi Nnamdi Kanu or the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) which he leads, to be denied the services of a lawyer? IPOB is group of grossly oppressed indigenous people by the Nigerian government with quite a privileged number, scattered all over the world. They are peacefully agitating according to civilised international laws of which Nigeria is a signatory, for the restoration of the sovereignty of their homeland, via a referendum. This act remains an indisputable legitimate right of all indigenous peoples required, in permanently resolving thorny political differences.

It is of note to state here therefore, that Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor, a legal luminary of repute, widely known in Nigeria and elsewhere with thriving chambers, is not an IPOB member, but a recognized legal counsel to the movement and it's leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. It is within the purview of the law therefore, for the Barrister to so be contracted for such services, which is never a crime by all imaginable standards.

The criminal invasion of his home by the combined security forces comprising the police and the army as directed by the Nigerian government, to the extent of gruesomely killing armless, innocent Biafrans, seriously injuring many, wantonly destroying properties and razing down buildings within the neighborhood, smack of blatant impunity, callousness and act of criminality by supposed cultured/professional security agencies. This barbaric action is a slap on the face of the law and the judiciary globally.

Considering fully the personality of Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor who has over the years, vibrantly carved a niche for himself through his doggedness, courage, dedication and uprightness in the defense of justice and freedom for the oppressed, it is right to categorically state here that the Nigerian Police Force/Nigerian Army and their handlers have lost what remains of their battered reputation. Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor is a legal luminary well known for his peaceful disposition, humanness and incorruptibility that needed to have been accorded respect due to his personal achievements in the eyes of the law. The Nigerian despotic government in the so-called democracy, in it's desperation and frustration to have him out of the way by all means, orchestrated a murderous raid on Monday 2nd December 2019, in his village compound in Ifite-Oraifite, Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State, Biafraland. Every sense of decency was thrown over board to get at him as he went home to bury his deceased elder brother, Reverend Chukwukpelum Ejiofor. The fully armed security operatives once again, proved the untamed rascality and lawlessness of their masters in Abuja for the entire global community to see.

It therefore further confirms the fact that if a renowned legal practitioner in the mould of Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor could be so dastardly attacked through invasion by those who are supposedly meant to provide security and protection, with his house and that of his late brother's house/properties totally razed down and destroyed, where then lies the hope of the commoners? The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), the International Association of Human Rights Lawyers amongst other relevant organisations both locally and internationally, should out of urgency, strongly synergize and ensure that the Nigerian Police Force and all those involved in the perpetration of this despicable acts of terrorism and lawlessness are adequately brought to book.

Written by Godswill Leeleebari Gabriel

Edited by Peter Oshagwu
For Family Writers Press International

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