IPOB Is A Threat To National Security – Federal High Court
The Federal High Court in Abuja has refused to quash the pronouncement which declared the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, as a terrorist group.
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Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdul Abdu-Kafarati, in his ruling quashed the application which was filed by IPOB to challenge the September 20, 2017, pronouncement that declared the activities of the group in Nigeria as unlawful.
According to Justice Kafarati, he was appealed to by an affidavit evidence and exhibits the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, presented in the court, which according to the AGF shows that IPOB constitute a threat to national security.
Kafarati noted that the AGF acknowledged that all Nigerians have constitutional right to belong to any assembly and any association whatsoever.
Nevertheless, Justice Kafarati emphasized that the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria in section 45 provided that such right could be curtailed “in the interest of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health”, as well as “for the purpose of protecting the rights and freedom of other persons”.
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 cannot be sued by the Federal Government.
In the opinion of the court, “The question is whether a foreigner in Nigeria is subject to Nigerian law? Can that foreigner be arrested and prosecuted in Nigeria? The answer is yes.”
“It is, therefore, my considered view that argument of Ejiofor has no basis. I hold that the applicant is subject to Nigerian law and courts.”
After much arguments, the court strikes out the application as it uphold the initial pronouncement of a lower court which declares IPOB as a terrorist organization.