Detained leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu’s counsel, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, has alleged that the aim of the ‘Exercise Golden Dawn’ recently launched by the Nigerian Army in the South-East is to “whisk away” prominent supporters of the Biafran struggle.
The lawyer also condemned the “inhumane treatment and degradation” of veteran actor, Chiwetalu Agu, by security agencies, saying the actor has not been granted access to his lawyers.
Ejiofor demanded the immediate release of Agu from the custody of the Department of State Services, saying Igbo lawyers “shall take appropriate steps permissible under our laws, to ensure that such occurrence is nipped in the bud.”
The PUNCH had earlier reported that soldiers on Thursday arrested the actor around Upper Iweka Bridge in Onitsha for wearing an outfit with Biafra inscriptions.
The Army in a statement had said that the actor was arrested “while inciting members of the public and soliciting for support for the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra.”
The Army had also said the actor “dressed in a very well-known attire of the proscribed group”, adding that he was being questioned.
In a viral video, Agu had denied the allegations, saying his attire was a civil dress with an image of a rising sun and not Biafra.
“I was sharing 10,000 worth of bread when he (soldier) came, no campaign, nobody was doing any demonstration or carrying people along. Even people who were hawking, I was giving them bread,” the actor had added.
The Army subsequently handed over the actor to the DSS on Friday.
DSS Spokesman, Peter Afunanya, who confirmed that Agu is in the custody of the secret police, said the law would take its full course.
Reacting, however, in a statement on Saturday, the IPOB leader’s counsel condemned the arrest of the Nollywood actor, alleging that the true motive of ‘Exercise Golden Dawn’ launched on Monday by the 302 Artillery Regiment General Support in the South-East was being uncovered.
Ejiofor’s statement was titled, ‘Arrest of Chief Chiwetalu Agu by lawless Nigerian soldiers, release, and subsequent re-arrest by the operatives of the Department of State Security Service (DSS) and his continued illegal detention without access to his lawyers and relatives’.
“It is worthy to note that the suspected motives behind the real mission of these untamed soldiers who are presently occupying our land under the guise of ‘Operation Golden Dawn’ is being uncovered, and will be ultimately uncovered in the coming days,” he said.
“Hear it today, that this is another round of ‘Operation Python Dance’ in disguise. There is no illusion about this.
“Intelligence available to us is irresistibly alluding to the fact that some prominent persons from this side of the divide, ostensibly those not in the good books of the Establishment are on the radar of these invaders, awaiting to be whisked away at any slightest opportunity, during this coded operation and under the guise of providing security.”
Ejiofor also said that he has intelligence advise to stay away from the South-East “pending when the dust settles because they can do and undo”.
He advised his “brothers and sisters” to be law-abiding and apply caution and restrain.
“Hence, I am most candidly advising our dear brothers and sisters to thread with utmost caution during this trying period. Please do not take any opportunity for granted, as these untamed men are here on a special mission,” he said.