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Court bars police from arresting IPOB’s lawyer

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Ifeanyi Ejiofor

A Federal High Court in Awka, Anambra State, presided over by Justice B.O. Quadri has given an order restricting Nigerian police from arresting Mr Ifeanyi Ejiofor, the counsel for the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB)

Mr Ejiofor had been declared wanted by the Anambra State Command of the Nigerian Police for the killing of two police officers in the state.

Ejiofor had filed a case at the Federal High Court, Awka, asking the court to restrict the police from arresting him.

In the case with suit No: FHC/AWK/CS/133/2019, Ejiofor listed the Police Service Commission, Inspector-General of Police, Commissioner of Police, Area Commander, Oraifite Area Command, Divisional Police Officer, Oraifite Division, the Nigerian Army, Chief of Army Staff, Federal Republic of Nigeria and Attorney-General Federation as the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th respondents respectively.

Granting the prayer of the applicant, Justice Quadri ordered that all parties involved in the case should maintain the status quo while stating that the police should not arrest Ejiofor pending the determination of the case.

While granting the order, Justice Quadri said “An interim order of the honourable court setting aside the declaration made by the 3rd respondent on the 3rd day of December 2019 declaring the applicant as a ‘wanted person’, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive application before the honourable court.

“An order of interim injunction restraining the respondents, their privies, agents, or howsoever called from taking any steps to execute the warrant of arrest issued against the applicant and staying all actions in connection with this matter, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive application before this honourable court.

“An order of interim injunction restraining the respondents, their privies, agents, or howsoever called from interfering in any way with the applicant’s fundamental rights pending the hearing and determination of the substantive application before this honourable court.”

Chinwe Umeche, a lawyer from Ejiofor’s chamber who is acting as the managing counsel while commenting on the order of the court, said the effect of the order is that the police and other security agencies named as respondents are restrained from taking any step in the matter.

The case has been adjourned until December 27 for hearing before the vacation judge.

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