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Update : Proscription of IPOB Stands, Court Says


A Federal High Court, Abuja, Thursday, refused to vacate the order it made on September 20, 2017, proscribing the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdul Kafarati in a judgment delivered Thursday dismissed IPOB’s application challenging the order.
The Judge held that the Federal Government was right in issuing the order based on the activities of IPOB prelude to the proscription. In proscribing IPOB, the Federal Government had labelled it a terrorist group.
The judge held that the memo written by the Attorney General of the Federation upon which the president gave the approval stands.
The Federal Government issued the proscription order after South East Governors banned activities of the pro-Biafra movement in South Eastern state in September 2017.
The Judge held that the issue of whether IPOB being foreign registered organisation can be prosecuted and punished in Nigeria, ” the answer is yes. IPOB is in Nigeria and members are Nigerians, I so hold
“It is my considered view that memo written by Attorney-General of the Federation upon which the President gave his approval,
“The order proscribing IPOB, which the applicant respondent challenged was proper, and applicant’s right of fair hearing has not been violated, ‘ he held.
He awarded N500,000 cost against IPOB.
Justice Kafarati had on November 14, 2017, reserved the judgment after counsel to the Federal Government, the Solicitor General of the Federation, Dayo Apata and counsel for IPOB , Ifeanyi Ejiofor, adopted their briefs of arguments for and against the proscription order issued on September 20, 2017.
Moving the application Ejiofor urged the court to vacate the order of proscription as terrorist organisation on the ground that the process followed in obtaining it was defective.
He said that the Terrorist Act is explicit and specific on who can give approval for an organisation to be proscribed. He said that President Muhammadu Buhari who the Act specifically empowered to approve the Proscription order did not give his approval as required by the law.
According to him, a letter written by the Attorney General of the Federation to the President did not amount to approval nor the letter signed by the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari conveying approval as the duty of the President under the act can not be delegated.
The order of the court did not comply with the processes of Section 40 of the terrorist Act which defined the office of the President and all actions that are to be taken by him under the act. He said in the instant case no approval was given by the President.

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