Nnamdi Kanu challenges IPOB’s proscription in court

Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has instituted a legal suit challenging the declaration of the group as a terrorist organisation.

Ifeanyi Ejiofor, Kanu’s lawyer, made this known in a statement on Friday, saying the motion was filed on Thursday.

Ejiofor stated that the IPOB is a non-violent organisation; therefore, it was illegal for the Federal High Court, Abuja, to issue an order against it based on an ex-parte motion.

An ex-parte motion can be heard by a court without the presence of the defendant.

Ejiofor argued that his client’s right to fair hearing was breached and that the court in Abuja lacks the jurisdiction to issue such an order.




     

     

    It was the Defence Headquarters that first declared the IPOB a “militant terrorist organization” in contravention of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2013 (as amended), alleging that the group had set up a parallel Secret Service and was in possession of weapons.

    However, following public outcry, the office of the Attorney General of the Federation hurriedly kick-started a formal process, which was signed by approved by President Muhammadu Buhari before he left for the United States on Sunday.

    On Monday evening, the court issued an order declaring IPOB a terrorist group and rendering anyone who participates in the group’s activities liable to a jail term of 20 years.

    Meanwhile, Kanu’s whereabouts has remained unknown since soldiers besieged his hometown, Afaraukwu, in Umuahia, the capital of Abia State.

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