Sunday 17 September, 2017 // 05:15 pm


Breaking News: Nnamdi Kanu Petitions Attorney General Of The Federation, Gives Reasons Why Army Declaration On IPOB Can't Stand In Law





The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has petitioned the Attorney-General of the Federal Republic Of Nigeria, Abubakar Malami, giving reasons why the Nigeria Army Declaration on IPOB should be withdrawn.

The Nigeria Defence Headquarters had on 15th September, 2017 declared IPOB a terrorist organisation, giving reasons why it made such declaration, which included the formation of Biafra Security Service, alleged confrontation of troops by Nnamdi Kanu and other IPOB personnel, possession of weapons such as stones, Molotov cocktails, machetes and broken bottles by IPOB; alleged extortion of money by IPOB.

But Nnamdi Kanu has approached the AGF, Abubakar Malami, stating the "provisions that constitute the sole and entire statutory path  through which an entity, such as IPOB, can legally be declared a terrorist or proscribed organization", which is stated in section 2 of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2011 (as amended in 2013).

It went on to remind the AGF that in the said section of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, the Attorney General, National Security Adviser or Inspector General of Police on the approval of the President is to make the application before the court which decides whether an organisation is a terrorist group or not, hence, "the procedure for making such 'Declaration' strictly and exclusively requires judicial intervention, not the martial orders of the Nigerian Armed Forces, that also does not possess such powers under the Armed Forces Act".

In the petition signed by Nnamdi Kanu's lead counsel, Aloy Ajimakor, and made available to IPOB Writers, Kanu equally reminded the AGF that the court of Justice Binta Nyako had struck out the charges of terrorism held against him and his colleagues for lack of proof of evidence that IPOB was an unlawful organisation; and now the "acts alleged as grounds for making the said 'Declaration' are virtually the same with, or similar to the acts previously held by the court as NOT constituting terrorism, as defined in Section 1 of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act."

Kanu went on to request that the office of the AGF should "take prompt measures to issue an Advisory Opinion invalidating the said Declaration."

The full petition is below:

RE: Purported Declaration Of IPOB As A Terrorist Organization By The Nigerian Armed Forces

 "We write on the instructions of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu (hereafter: our Client). Our Client is the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and we have his instruction to petition your office with respect to the above-referenced matter. It is also his instruction that this Petition is to be published widely.

"Having fully studied the referenced 'Declaration' and the pertinent Laws of Federation of Nigeria, it is our considered position that the action of the Nigerian Armed forces is ultra vires, unconstitutional, illegal and negatory. Our position is predicated on the following Points and Authorities:

1. Terrorism (Prevention) Act:
The entire body of Nigerian law on terrorism is codified and known as Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2011 (as amended in 2013). The provisions that dealt specifically with the procedure for declaring an entity a terrorist and proscribed organization are found at Section 2 of the Act, which states that:

"(1). Where two or more persons associated for the purpose of or where an organization engages in— (a) Participating or collaborating in an act of terrorism;
(b) promoting, encouraging or exhorting others to commit an act of terrorism; or
(c) setting up or pursuing acts of terrorism, the judge in Chambers may on an application made by the Attorney General, National Security Adviser or Inspector General of Police on the approval of the President; declare an entity to be a proscribed organization and the notice should be published in official gazette.
(2) An order made under sub-section (1) of this section shall be published in the official gazette, in two National newspapers and at such other places as the judge in Chambers may determine".

"As is clear from above, the statutory provisions are unambiguous and explicit. Let it also be clear that the foregoing provisions constitute the sole and entire statutory path through which an entity, such as IPOB, can legally be declared a terrorist or proscribed organization under the extant statute.

"And to be sure, the procedure for making such 'Declaration' strictly and exclusively requires judicial intervention, not the martial orders of the Nigerian Armed Forces, that also does not possess such powers under the Armed Forces Act. Consequently, it is our position that this 'Declaration' cannot stand in law.

2. Judicial Pronouncements:
On March 1, 2017 a Federal High Court in Abuja, per Justice Binta Nyako, struck out the charges of "terrorism, management of unlawful organization and intention to manufacture Improvised Explosive Devices planned to be used against Nigerian security agents", which was instituted by your office against our Client in his extant capacity as the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra.

"The judge ruled that 'the proof of evidence failed to show that IPOB was indeed an unlawful organization'; and that 'the prosecution failed to show that IPOB is a proscribed organization or that it was not registered either in Nigeria or the United Kingdom'.

"To be sure, and as regards 'terrorism' which is at issue here, the court had struck out the charge that our Client or any of the co-accused (all members of IPOB) committed - as framed by your office - “terrorism contrary to Section 2(1)(a) of Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2011 as amended in 2013.”

"A plain reading of the foregoing ruling will show that not only did the court find that IPOB is not a terrorist/proscribed organization, it also disposed of any allegation that our Client or any of the alleged 'confederates' committed acts amounting to terrorism. It is noteworthy, therefore, that the acts alleged as grounds for making the said 'Declaration' are virtually the same with, or similar to the acts previously held by the court as NOT constituting terrorism, as defined in Section 1 of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act.

"Conclusion/Prayers:
On the basis of the Points and Authorities enunciated above, we most respectfully request:

1. That, pursuant to the powers and procedures of your office, you take prompt measures to issue an Advisory Opinion invalidating the said Declaration.

2. That, upon the issuance of the said Advisory Opinion, you take prompt measures to cause publication of same in the Official Gazette of the Government of the Federation and in at least 2 Nigerian newspapers of national circulation.


"While we anticipate an expeditious disposition of this Petition by your office, please be assured of our highest esteem for your person and the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation."


Published By IPOB Writers
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