Court Proscribes IPOB, Declares It Terrorist Organisation

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The Federal High Court on Wednesday in Abuja granted the Federal Government an interim injunction proscribing activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdul Kafarati, granted the injunction in chambers.

The Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, had filed an ex-parte application urging the court to grant the injunction.

President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier given written approval for the proscription of the group, pending legal process.

Buhari’s approval for the proscription of IPOB was revealed on Wednesday by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, to State House correspondents in Abuja.

According to Alhaji Mohammed: “The President has approved the process of proscribing IPOB and before he left he did approve the proscription and the procedure is on.

“And I ask, if the President had been overly concerned with the legalese where will Nigeria be today.’’

The minister noted that he had to deal with the issue of IPOB in many radio and television programmes in the past few days.

He acknowledged that it was the rights of individuals or groups to seek self-determination but the pursuit should be within the confines of the law and non-violent.

He stated that where any group crossed the line by engaging in violence it then became out of tune.

He avoided the semantics of whether the group ought to have been proscribed by the South East Governors or on the labeling of IPOB as a terrorist group by the military.

But on the other hand he noted that the group had engaged in terrorist activities.

“All I know is that IPOB has engaged in terrorist activities such as setting up prior military and para military, clashing with the national army and attempting to seize rifle from soldiers.

“It used weapons such as machetes and Molotov cocktails and mounting road blocks to extort money among others.

“The leader has openly solicited for arms,’’ he said.

Mohammed said that no national army in the world would tolerate the IPOB activities or any army that would look away when attacked by band of thugs.

Governors of the Southeast states took the first step to ban the activities of the group after the military had declared it a militant terrorist group.

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