The Indigenous People of Biafra on Friday asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to set aside the orders proscribing it and designating it as a terrorist group.
The Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdu Kafarati, had on Wednesday, issued the proscription order upon an ex parte application by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami.
Punch reports that in a motion filed by IPOB’s lawyer, Mr Ifeanyi Ejiofor, before the same judge on Friday, 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 grounds of the application read in part, “That the Exparte order made on the 20th day of September 2017, by this Honourable Court was made without jurisdiction, as the order was granted against an entity unknown to law.
“That there are a clear suppression and misrepresentation of facts in the Attorney General 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 freedom 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 Exparte 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. (Punch)