Court dismisses IPOB suit against proscription

Court dismisses IPOB suit against proscription

The Federal High Court in Abuja has refused to quash the pronouncement which declared the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, as a terrorist group.

The Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High, Justice Abdu Kafarati, who delivered the judgement, resolved all the three formulated issues against the group, holding that the September 20, 2017 proscription order was validly issued.

Kafarati also set aside the argument of Mr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor, the counsel to the Biafra people that the group is not registered in Nigeria and as such can not be sued by the Federal Government.

The court also held that IPOB's application, seeking the vacation of the proscription order was unmeritorious and deserved to be dismissed.

Justice Kafarati, in his ruling on a case ‎filed by members of IPOB to challenge the declaration of the group as a terrorist organisation, said the action of the government was in order and ordered the group to pay N500‎, 000 to the federal government as cost.

"It is, therefore, my considered view that argument of Ejiofor has no basis".

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Unsatisfied with the decision, IPOB, through its counsel, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, in an application, urged the court to set aside the proscription order.

In his ruling, Justice Abdul Kafarati said the basic instrument in the particular ex parte motion was the approval of the Nigerian president which was stated to have been given in the application brought by the Attorney General of the Federation. "IPOB has done nothing to qualify, as defined by global standards, to be called a terrorist organisation", he said.

Umahi said: "All activities of IPOB are, hereby, proscribed". The judge said the AG having the consent of the president was enough grounds for the earlier proscription ruling.

"The simple question which ordinary people have been asking all along is this; what activity or aspect of IPOB operations can be regarded as constituting a terrorist act?"

He further submitted that Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the proscribed group, had severally called Nigeria a zoo that must be scattered, stressing that no sane government will allow the activities of such an organisation to go unchecked.

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