The Indigenous People of Biafra on Friday asked the Federal Government to remove the “terrorist” tag it placed on the group or appear in court to defend it.
Recall that Justice Abdul Kafarati had, on September 20, 2017, granted an ex parte order proscribing IPOB as a ‘terrorist’ organisation.
But the pro-Biafran group, in a statement by its spokesman, Emma Powerful, said the Federal Government has refused to appear at the Appeal Court to defend their proscription order.
Powerful said the proscription order had been appealed at the Appeal Court since 2018 by the IPOB legal team. Still, the Federal Government of Nigeria keeps using a “slow and warped” justice system to frustrate its hearing.
Powerful said, “Ever since the IPOB’s proscription was appealed, the Federal Government and her compromised Judges have been running away from meeting the IPOB legal team in their court.
“The Federal Government and her Courts are running while the IPOB legal team awaits them in the court to continue what they started.
“The IPOB, ably led by our supreme leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, wondered why the Federal Government is running away from defending their ‘black market’ proscription of IPOB before the Appeal Court.
“This black market proscription order has been appealed in the Appeal Court since 2018 by the IPOB legal team, but the Federal Government of Nigeria keeps using the slow and warped justice system to frustrate the hearing of the Appeal.
“IPOB is a peaceful movement seeking Biafra restoration. IPOB, since its formation, has organised the most peaceful rallies across the world, particularly in Biafra territories. Irrespective of our non-violence approach, the ethnic-biased former President used one of his kinsmen, a judge, to proscribe this peaceful movement.
“Our legal team appealed the proscription in 2018. Since then, we have been waiting for the Federal Government to appear in their court and explain to the world how a peaceful movement seeking freedom became a terrorist organisation.”
The group added that on every adjournment date, either the Federal Government or the judges would refuse to appear in Court.
“Instead of facing IPOB’s legal team in court to prove their proscription of IPOB, the Federal Government capitalised on the illegal terrorist tag on IPOB, using the security forces to abduct, illegally detained, and most times extra-judicially murder unarmed IPOB members.
“African Union, European Union, USA and Russia governments, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and other reputable human rights organisations across the globe should ask the Federal Government and its courts to remove the illegal proscription tag on IPOB or appear in Court to defend their actions.”