The Federal Government has gazetted the order of the Federal High Court in Abuja which proscribed the Indigenous People of Biafra and designated the group as a terrorist organization.
The Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court , Justice Abdu Kafarati, had, on September 20, issued the proscription order upon an ex parte application by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN).
Justice Kafarati, who heard the AGF’s motion in chambers, had, in addition to directing the Federal Government to gazette the order, ordered it to publish it in two national dailies.
With the gazetting, it is left for the Federal Government to publish the proscription order in two newspapers.
The gazette, with commencement date of September 20, 2017 and titled, ‘Terrorism (Prevention) (Proscription Order) Notice, 2017’ is contained in Volume 104 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette., read in part, “NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that by the Order of the Federal High Court, Abuja, in suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/871/2017, dated September 20, 2017 as per the schedule to this Notice, the activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra are declared to be terrorism and illegal in any part of Nigeria, especially in the South-East and South-South regions of Nigeria as proscribed, pursuant to Section 2 of the Terrorism (Prevention)Act, 2011 (as mended).
“Consequently, the general public is hereby warned that any person or group of persons participating in any manner whatsoever in any form of activities involving or concerning the prosecution of the collective intentions or otherwise of the said groups will be violating the provisions of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2011 (as amended) and liable to prosecution.
“This Notice shall be cited as the Terrorism (Prevention) (Proscription Order) Notice, 2017.”
The Special Assistant to the President on Prosecutions, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, has also confirmed the development, he stated that the action was in accordance with what the law stipulates.
He said “This is the procedure contemplated by section 2(1)(c) of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2011 as amended in 2013, that the prosecution shall be published in the official gazette of the Federal Government,”
“This is final that IPOB is an unlawful society, it’s an illegal society. So, the Federal Government of Nigeria and the President will subsequently appoint an administrator to take over all the properties belonging to IPOB in Nigeria and abroad.”
“This is a warning not just to IPOB but all the groups that have been threatening national security and corporate existence of Nigeria that the Federal Government will clamp down on such groups.” He added
Reacting to the contrary stance of some foreign nations on the status of IPOB, Obono-Obla said, “What the foreign countries are talking about is international politics. International politics is no law and it does not have anything to do with Nigeria.
“Any country that is a foreign friend must respect the laws of Nigeria. If you don’t respect the laws of Nigeria, then we treat you like an unfriendly country. There are diplomatic consequences for a country treated as unfriendly.