Federal High Court in Abuja, has declared the activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) “acts of terrorism”.
The Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdu Kafarati, granted the order proscribing the group on Wednesday declared that the activities of the group constituted an act of terrorism and illegality.
This followed an application filed by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.
Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), with the Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr. Dayo Apata, and some other lawyers from the ministry appeared before Justice Kafarati for the Federal Government.
Malami argued the ex parte motion in which IPOB was joined as a respondent inside the chamber of the judge.
The Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2013, under which the Federal Government’s ex parte motion was brought, permits the judge to choose to hear it inside the chamber.
AGF Malami said IPOB stood proscribed as the court order had sanctioned the presidential approval proscribing the group.
He said, “It is true that IPOB was proscribed by the court today. It was the Federal High Court presided over by Justice Kafarati.
“The presidential approval proscribing the group has been sanctioned, confirmed and affirmed by the court. The group stands proscribed.”
On the next step the government would take, he said, “Gazetting is the final stage and that takes an executive procedure not legislative or judicial.
“As I have said, the executive aspect has been concluded by presidential approval and the judicial aspect has equally been concluded by the granting of the order by the court.
“That means the executive and the judicial processes have been concluded.
“It clearly remains the official gazetting which is the last thing to do.”
The order read, “That the application is granted as prayed.
“That an order declaring that the activities of the respondent (Indigenous People of Biafra) 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.
“That an order proscribing the existence of the respondent (Indigenous People of Biafra), in any part of Nigeria, especially in the South-East and South-South regions of Nigeria, either in groups or as individuals by whatever names they are called and publishing same in the official gazette and two national dailies, is granted.
hat an order restraining any person or group of persons from participating in any manner whatsoever in any form of activities involving or concerning the prosecution of the collective intention or otherwise of the respondent (Indigenous People of Biafra) under any other name or platform however called or described is granted.”