The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has rejected the label of a terrorist group by the federal government and demanded that the government should appear in court to justify its proscription order.
The group, in a statement on Friday, said it is a peaceful movement seeking Biafra’s restoration and had appealed the court’s proscription order since 2018, but the government had been avoiding the hearing.
The statement, signed by the group’s spokesman, Emma Powerful, said the group had been engaging in various peaceful rallies across the world, particularly in Biafra territories, and had no record of violence or terrorism.
He said the proscription order was obtained by the former President from one of his kinsmen, a judge, on September 20, 2017, in an ex parte motion without giving IPOB a fair hearing.
Powerful said the order had been challenged by the IPOB legal team at the Appeal Court, but the government and its compromised judges had been using the slow and warped justice system to frustrate the appeal.
“IPOB is a peaceful movement seeking Biafra’s restoration. IPOB, since its formation, has organized 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 organization,” he said.
He accused the government of capitalizing on the illegal terrorist tag on IPOB to abduct, illegally detain, and extra-judicially murder unarmed IPOB members.
He, however, called on the international community and human rights organizations to intervene and pressure the government and its courts to remove the illegal proscription tag on IPOB or face them in
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