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Nnamdi Kanu threatens to sue Nigerian government for naming IPOB a terrorist group



Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has called on the public, organisations, media houses, and the government to cease referring to IPOB as a terrorist organisation.

Kanu issued the warning in a legal notice dated June 7, 2024, addressed to all media/general public/government agencies, signed by Aloy Ejimakor, Esq.

The team stated that those calling IPOB a terrorist organisation have not adduced a “scintilla” of evidence that IPOB has ever engaged in any terrorist activity, more so when a High Court has ruled that IPOB is not a terrorist organisation.

The statement partly read: “Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s Legal Team is under firm instructions from our Client to issue this final warning to all persons and institutions still referring to IPOB as a terrorist organisation.

“Henceforth, any further reference to IPOB as a terrorist organization will be met and countervailed with a muscular litigation and other lawful measures, regardless of who the entity is. This is because there is a subsisting Judgment of a competent High Court in Nigeria (attached herewith) which ruled that IPOB’s proscription/declaration as a terrorist group by Buhari is illegal, discriminatory and unconstitutional.

“Compliance with this Judgment strictly demands that IPOB should no longer be referred to as a terrorist organization.

“Additionally, those calling IPOB a terrorist organization have not adduced a scintilla of evidence that IPOB has ever engaged in any terrorist activity. This is underscored by the verifiable fact that since the so-called proscription of IPOB in 2017, no single alleged IPOB member has been convicted of any terrorist act, despite thousands of arrests, abductions, horrendous torture, false flags and extrajudicial killings levied against its alleged members.

“Accordingly, we hereby demand that the general public, Presidency, Nigerian Army, Nigerian Police and any erring media houses should forthwith cease and desist from attaching such defamatory and prejudicial label to IPOB led by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.”

In an enrolled judgement order delivered by Justice A. O. Onovo of the Enugu State High Court in suit No: E/20/2023, the court declared that the proscription of IPOB as a terrorist organisation is illegal, unconstitutional, and null and void.

The suit is between Kanu (applying for himself and on behalf of members of the Indigenous People of Biafra IPOВ) as Applicant and Federal Republic of Nigeria, President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Attorney General of the Federation & Minister of Justice Federation, Governor of Ebonyi State and the South East Governors Forum as 1-5 Respondents.

The judgement partly read, “Upon this matter coming up today the 26th day of October 2023 for Judgment; After considering the processes filed, the Annexures and the Written Addresses filed by Counsel for Applicant and Respondents.”

The court said it heard submissions of Aloy Ejimakor Esq who appeared with Patrick Agazie Esq. Ifeyinwa C. Nworgu Esq. AC Eguzoribe Esq. Edith C. Eze Esq and A.F lloanya Esq, for the Applicant, while Maimuna Lami Shiru (Mrs) appeared with Enock Simon Esq and Ochum Emmanuel Esq. for the 1 to 3 Respondents.

It said, “A declaration that the practical application of the Terrorism Prevention Act and the Executive or Administrative action of the Respondents which directly led to the proscription of IPOB and its listing as a Terrorist Group, said IPOB being comprised of citizens of Nigeria of the Igbo and Eastern Nigerian Ethnic groups professing the political opinion of self-determination and the consequent arrest, detention and prosecution of the Applicant as member/leader of said IPOB is illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional and amounts of infringement of the Applicant’s fundamental right not to be subjected to any disabilities of restrictions on the basis of his ethnicity as enshrined and guaranteed under Section 42 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. 1999 (as amended) and his fundamental rights as enshrined under Articles 2. 3. 19 and 20 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (Enforcement and Ratification) Act.

“A declaration that self-determination is not a crime in Nigeria and cannot be used as a basis to arrest, detain and prosecute the Applicant.

“An order mandating and compelling the Respondents, jointly and severally to issue official letter(s) of apology to the Applicant for infringement of his said fundamental rights and publication of said letter(s) of apology in three (3) National Dailies.

“An order mandating and compelling the Respondents to, jointly or severally pay the sum of N8,000,000,000.00 (Eight billion naira) to the Applicant being monetary damages claimed by the Applicant against the respondent jointly and severally for the physical, mental, emotional, psychological property and other damages suffered by the Applicant as a result of the infringement of his fundamental rights by the Respondents.

“Issued at Enugu under the seal of Court and hand of the Presiding Judge this Thursday the 26 day of October 2023.”

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