Obono-Obla: IPOB emblem or flag could fetch you 20 years imprisonment

Anyone found in possession of an emblem or flag of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB risks a prison sentence of up to 20 years, says Okoi Obono-Obla, Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Prosecution Matters.

However, if the group “repents” and becomes “born again”, the federal government may reconsider the proscription order against them.

Obono Obla, who spoke on African Independent Television, AIT, Obono-Obla said that Buhari was even more tolerant of IPOB than his predecessors were of various groups that threatened the nation in the past.

He recalled how former President Olusegun Obasanjo crushed the Oodua Peoples Congress, OPC, in the South West and how Goodluck Jonathan dealt with the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB.

“The order (of proscription of IPOB) is final, it is not open to appeal. (But) tomorrow if they (IPOB) say, ‘look we will fight for the right of determination of the Igbo people within the ambit of the law’, if they repent, they will become a lawful organisation,” Obono-Obla said.



    “Then the Attorney General can go back and de-proscribe them and say that they have repented, they have become born again. That it is the only right.

    “For now, they are proscribed and anybody who is caught, if you finance IPOB, if you participate in their meeting, if you prevent anybody from arresting a member, … if you are arrested with an emblem, or a symbol or a flag of a proscribed organisation, it is 20 years imprisonment. So everybody has to be very careful.”

    Obono-Obla said that the issue of human rights in how the federal government dealt with IPOB does not arise because according to international law, “when it comes to National Security, human rights must take the back seat.”

    “Under the constitution, section 46, it states that government can make any law, but if you exercise your rights in a manner that threatens public order, public safety, then the government can take away that right from you, and that is what the government has done.”

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