The proscribed Indigenous People People of Biafra on Monday justified its agitation for Igbo’s self-determination.
It maintained in a paper it filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday that the Federal Government fraudulently obtained the order proscribing it and designating it as a terrorist group.
The group stated that contrary to the Federal Government’s contention painting it as a violent organisation, it was a non-violent group operating within the confines of domestic and international laws in agitating for self-determination for the people of Igbo extraction.
The Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdu Kafarati, who made the proscription order on September 21, 2017, will today (Tuesday) hear IPOB’s motion challenging the court order.
A lawyer in IPOB’s legal team, Prince Umegborogu, who deposed to a further affidavit filed in support of the group’s motion challenging the court’s proscription order, described the group as a freedom fighter for the Igbo.
The further affidavit read in part, “That the respondent/applicant has been operating strictly within the confines of constitutional frameworks, and international covenants.
“That the respondent/applicant’s members are ethnic nationality-based group, genuinely and non-violently agitating for self-determination and doing so relying on the full principles of self-determination.
“That the respondent/applicant represents a group of recognised freedom fighters, for the rescue of the Igbo race from undisguised and obvious repression, marginalisation, disrespect and ridicule as second-class citizens.
“That demonstration towards the realisation of the right to self-determination is recognised as Fundamental Rights in International Law and the United Nations Charter.”
The group stated that it had never killed any person contrary to the Federal Government’s allegation.
It stated that the huge crowds its rallies often drew had never been shown to carry weapons.
It also added that the Federal Government had grossly misinterpreted its activities as amounting to the intimidation of the whole nation.
IPOB, through its lead counsel, Mr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor, had filed the further affidavit, after receiving the Federal Government’s counter-affidavit opposing the group’s application seeking the discharge of the proscription order issued against it.
Justice Kafarati had on September 21, 2017, issued the proscription order upon an ex parte application by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN).
But in a motion filed by the group before the same judge on September 22, the group contended that the proscription order was unconstitutional.
The motion was anchored on 13 grounds, first of which was that the proscription order was made without jurisdiction “as the order was granted against an entity unknown to law.”
The AGF office subsequently filed a counter-affidavit justifying the proscription order of court.
But in its further affidavit filed on Monday, the group stated that allegations levelled against its leader, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, by the Federal Government to justify the proscription order were false.