Court re­serves judg­ment in suit seek­ing to va­cate IPOB’S pro­scrip­tion

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - NEWS - From Brid­get Chiedu Onochie, Abuja

JUS­TICE Ab­dul Ka­farati of the Fed­eral High Court yes­ter­day re­served rul­ing in the suit by the In­dige­nous Peo­ple of Bi­afra (IPOB) to va­cate its pro­scrip­tion or­der.

Ka­farati re­served the judg­ment till Jan­uary 17, 2017 af­ter the So­lic­i­tor Gen­eral of the Fed­er­a­tion, Dayo Apata and coun­sel to the IPOB, Ifeanyi Ejio­for, adopted their briefs of ar­gu­ment.

Ejio­for had urged the court to va­cate the or­der on the ground that the process fol­lowed in ar­riv­ing at the pro­scrip­tion was de­fec­tive. He said the Ter­ror­ist Act was ex­plicit and spe­cific on who can give ap­proval for an or­gan­i­sa­tion to be so pro­scribed.

Ac­cord­ing to the coun­sel, Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari, whom the Act specif­i­cally em­pow­ered to ap­prove the pro­scrip­tion or­der, did not give his ap­proval as re­quired by the law.

He noted that the let­ter writ­ten by the at­tor­ney gen­eral of the fed­er­a­tion to the pres­i­dent did not amount to ap­proval.

The coun­sel added that the let­ter by the Chief of Staff to the Pres­i­dent, Abba Kyari, which con­veyed the ap­proval as the duty of the pres­i­dent couldn’t be del­e­gated un­der the Act.

“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. In the in­stant case, no ap­proval was given by the pres­i­dent,” Ejio­for ar­gued.

He fur­ther stated that the IPOB has never en­gaged in any ter­ror­ist ac­tiv­ity, and that pro­ces­sions and ral­lies that it en­gaged in were not ter­ror­ism.

Ejio­for ex­plained that IPOB was reg­is­tered in England, In­dia and sev­eral other coun­tries, adding that its mem­bers have the right to self-de­ter­mi­na­tion un­der the United Na­tions Char­ter.

The coun­sel, how­ever, de­nied the claim by the so­lic­i­tor gen­eral, that a Turk­ish na­tional linked IPOB with the im­por­ta­tion of arms into the coun­try.

In his ar­gu­ment, Apata op­posed the ap­pli­ca­tion in the in­ter­est of jus­tice, pub­lic peace, con­sti­tu­tional or­der, ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity and na­tional se­cu­rity.

Gov­er­nor of Niger State, Abubakar Sani Bello (left), Min­is­ter of De­fence, Col. Mansur Dan Ali, and the Emir of Borgu, Mo­ham­mad Sani Haliru Dan­toro, dur­ing a visit by the state’s in­di­genes to the min­is­ter in his of­fice, in Abuja…yes­ter­day

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