Nigeria’s Attorney General Gets Court Order Proscribing IPOB
The Federal High Court in Abuja has given judicial backing to the executive order of President Muhammadu Buhari, outlawing the Indigenous People of Biafra and its activities in every part of Nigeria.
The Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdu Kafarati, granted the order proscribing the group on Wednesday.
It declared that the activities of the group constituted an act of terrorism and illegality.
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, 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.
The AGF, 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.
Malami and Apata arrived at the courtroom on the fifth floor of the Federal High Court complex in Abuja at about 12.15pm on Wednesday.
The duo were immediately led to the judge’s chamber where the proceedings lasted about an hour.
A copy of the court’s enrolled order, on Wednesday, declared that the activities of the group in any part of Nigeria, especially in the South -East and South-South regions of Nigeria “amount to acts of terrorism and illegality”.
It also restrained “any person or group of persons” from participating in any form of the activities involving or “concerning the prosecution of the collective intention or otherwise” of the group.
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.
“That 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.”
Speaking with one of our correspondents on the telephone on Wednesday, 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.”
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