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IPOB ask Court to rescind on Judgement
The Indigenous People of Biafra has prayed the Federal High Court in Abuja to rescind on its earlier judgement proscribing the group as a terror group. The group made the request in a motion filed by its lawyer, Mr Ifeanyi Ejiofor, before the Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdul Adamu Kafarati on Friday.
IPOB maintained that the court did not have the jurisdiction to proscribe the group as it is “an entity unknown to law”. The Motion reads in part , “That the ex parte order made on the 20th day of September 2017 by this Honorable Court was made without jurisdiction, as the order was granted against an entity unknown to law. “That there is a clear suppression and misrepresentation of facts in the Attorney General’s Affidavit evidence, pursuance to which the Order was granted.
“That the Order is unconstitutional, as it was made in clear violation of the constitutionally guaranteed right of the Indigenous People of Biafra to self-determination; Article 20(1) of the Africa Charter on Human & Peoples Rights, now domesticated into our Law under (Ratification and Enforcement Act) (Cap 10) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990; Right to fair hearing, Right to freedoms of expression, and the press and Rights to peaceful Assembly and Association; clearly provided for under Sections 36, 39 and 40 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as (Amended) 2011.
“That a declaratory order cannot be made pursuant to an ex parte Application, without hearing from the party against whom the order was made. “The Indigenous People of Biafra who are majorly of Igbo extraction, have no history of violence in the exercise of their right to self-determination.”
The Federal High Court, Abuja had on Wednesday granted an application filed and moved by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), proscribing the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
He also ordered the government to publish the order in its official gazette and two national dailies.
Justice Abdul Adamu Kafarati while giving his judgement said: “Upon reading through the affidavit I support, certificate on compliance with Section 84 of the Evidence Act 2011 both sworn to by CPL Kolawole Mathew of the Nigerian Army and written address attached thereto all dated and filed at the court registry, Abuja.
“That an order declaring that the activities of the respondent (IPOB) in any part of Nigeria, especially in the South-east and South-south regions of Nigeria, amount to acts of terrorism and illegality, is granted.
Sub-section 2 goes further to state: “An order made under sub-section (1) of this section shall be published in the official gazette, in two national newspapers and at such other places as the judge in chambers may determine.”
It will be recalled that Last Week before the commencement of the formal process the Nigerian Army had earlier declared IPOB as a terrorist organization.
The action was however criticized by a number of Nigerians including the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Sasraki who insisted that due process should have been followed before the declaration of IPOB as a terrorist group by the army. He, however, expressed confidence that the president would initiate steps to ensure that due process was followed, thus demonstrating to the world that Nigeria was guided by the rule of law whatever the circumstances are.