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Finally, Court proscribes, declares IPOB terrorist organisation

At a time Nigerian Air Force fighter jets have joined in the trending Operation Python Dance II, the Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday, gave bite to a hurriedly filed executive order by President Muhammadu Buhari, to outlaw the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its activities.

The Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdu Kafarati, further granted the order proscribing the group and declaring it a terror organization.

In its ruling, the court declared that the activities of IPOB in Nigeria, particularly in the South-East or South-South regions, henceforth, constituted “an act of terrorism.”

Though the judge did not sit in the open court, he heard and granted the ex parte motion filed by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), in chambers.

Earlier after the Federal Executive Council (FEC), the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed had revealed that president Buhari had approved the executive order before jetting out to New York for the 72nd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

Trouble started when the Nigerian Army began what it described as Operation Python Dance II exercise in South East resulted in clashes with the youths loyal to the leader of the IPOB leader, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu who had been on bail, awaiting trial on treason charges at an Abuja High Court. He is due in Court on October.

SE-Governors-Forum
South East Governors and Ohaneze Ndigbo President, Chief Barr John Nnia Nwodo (1st right)

Besides, credence had earlier been given to the move when the leadership of South East Governors, proscribed the body and warned parents to advice their wards against joining or associating with IPOB following clashes that lead to some deaths in Abia State.

But Ohaneze countered both the declaration of IPOB as terror group and even the pronouncement by South East Governor on proscription.

However, the declaration of the Court on Wednesday, has put the rest the entire argument by declaring IPOB a terror group, pending any appeal in the nearest future by any interested party or parties.

Before now, the Northern Governors’ has been touring the South East as part of efforts to douse tension arising from the riots which lead to burning down of mosques in Umuahia and Port Harcourt at the heat of the crisis.

Up till now, the leader of IPOB had been in hiding and no official response had been heard from the organization.