By Yemi Oyeyemi, Abuja.
The Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court Justice Abdul Kafarati Tuesday fixed January 17, 2018 to deliver judgment in the application filed by the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), seeking to vacate its order of proscription.
Justice Kafarati fixed the judgment date after counsel to the federal government and Solicitor-General of the Federation Mr. Dayo Apata and counsel to IPOB, Mr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor, adopted their briefs of arguments for and against the proscription order issued on September 20, 2017.
Moving the application, Ejiofor urged the court to vacate the Order of Proscription of IPOB as a terrorist organization on the ground that the process followed in obtaining it was defective.
He said that the Terrorist Act is explicit and specific on who can give approval for an organization to be proscribed.
He said that President Muhammadu Buhari who the Act specifically empowered to approve the proscription order did not give his approval as required by the law.
He said that neither a letter written by the Attorney General of the Federation to the President did not amount to approval; nor the letter signed by the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, conveying approval could not suffice, adding that the duty of the President under the act could not be delegated.
The order of the court did not comply with the processes of Section 40 of the Terrorist Act which defined the office of the President and all actions that are to be taken by him under the act. He said in the instant case, no approval was given by the President .
He also argued that IPOB has never engaged in any terrorist activities adding that procession and rallies which the organization engaged in were not terrorist acts.
Ejiofor said that IPOB was registered in England, India, and several other countries and that her members have the right for self determination under the United Nations Chapter.
The counsel denied claims by the Solicitor-General that IPOB was linked with the importation of arms into the country by a Turkey national.
Apata opposed the application, according to him, in the interest of justice, public peace, constitutional order, territorial integrity and national security.
He said that the application should be refused because IPOB engaged terrorist activities.
The Solicitor General presented 11 exhibits depicting instances where the activities of IPOB have been classified by security agencies as terrorist acts, including the killing of a policeman.
He submitted that Nnamdi Kanu the leader of the proscribed IPOB has called Nigeria a zoo that must be scattered. He said that a less, but similar incident fueled the Rwandan genocide.
IPOB: Court fixes January 17 whether or not to rescind proscription
By Yemi Oyeyemi, Abuja.