Justice Abdul Kafarati of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Thursday rejected an application filed by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) requesting the court to vacate its September 20, 2017, order that proscribed the group.
Kafarati held that the Federal Government was right in issuing the order based on the activities of IPOB prelude to the proscription.
The judge held that the memo written by the Attorney General of the Federation upon which the president gave the approval remains valid.
Recall that The Federal Government had issued the proscription order following a ban of the activities of the group in the South Eastern state in September 2017 by the South East Governors.
The judge had said, “It is my considered view that memo written by Attorney-General of the Federation upon which the President gave his approval, stands
“The order proscribing IPOB, which the applicant respondent challenged was properly, and applicant’s right of fair hearing has not been violated, ‘ he held.
Kafarati also awarded N500,000 cost against IPOB.
The judged noted that IPOB could be sued because “IPOB is in Nigeria and members are Nigerians, I so hold.”
IPOB’s lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, had argued against the proscription order
Business Day quotes the lawyer as saying that “The order is unconstitutional, as it was made in clear violation of constitutionally guaranteed right of the Indigenous People of Biafra to self-determination.
He added, “It also violated Article 20(1) of the Africa Charter on Human & Peoples Rights, now domesticated into our law under (Ratification and Enforcement Act) (Cap 10) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990.
“It ran against the right to fair hearing, right to freedom of expression and the press.
“It further violated the right to peaceful assembly and association clearly provided for under sections 36, 39 and 40 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as (Amended) 2011.”