The Indigenous People of Biafra has asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to reverse its orders proscribing it and labelling it as a terrorist group.
IPOB made the request in a motion filed by its lawyer, Mr Ifeanyi Ejiofor, before the Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdu Kafarati on Friday.
This comes barely 48 hours after Justice Kafarati had granted an ex-parte application by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, for the proscription of the group and its categorisation as a terrorist group.
IPOB, which has insisted that it is a non-violent movement, based its motion on 13 grounds.
One of them was that the court did not have the jurisdiction to proscribe the group as it is “an entity unknown to law”.
IPOB, in its motion, is asking the court to declare, “That the ex parte order made on the 20th day of September 2017 by this Honorable Court was made without jurisdiction, as the order was granted against an entity unknown to law.
“That there is a clear suppression and misrepresentation of facts in the Attorney General’s Affidavit evidence, pursuance to which the Order was granted.
“That the Order is unconstitutional, as it was made in clear violation of the constitutionally guaranteed right of the Indigenous People of Biafra to self-determination; Article 20(1) of the Africa Charter on Human & Peoples Rights, now domesticated into our Law under (Ratification and Enforcement Act) (Cap 10) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990; Right to fair hearing, Right to freedoms of expression, and the press and Rights to peaceful Assembly and Association; clearly provided for under Sections 36, 39 and 40 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as (Amended) 2011.
“That a declaratory order cannot be made pursuant to an ex parte Application, without hearing from the party against whom the order was made.
“The Indigenous People of Biafra who are majorly of Igbo extraction, have no history of violence in the exercise of their right to self-determination.”