A Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, Thursday, refused to vacate the order it made on September 20, 2017, proscribing the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdul Abdu-Kafarati, will deliver the judgment in the suit seeking to void the proscription and declaration of IPOB, as a terrorist organisation.
Justice Kafarati, who presided in the matter was the same judge who issued the proscription order sequel to an ex parte application filed by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami in September, 2017.
He, however, dismissed the submission of IPOB counsel, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, who submitted that IPOB, not being registered in Nigeria but only registered in some other countries, could not be sued in Nigeria.
The Judge held that the Federal Government was right in issuing the order based on the activities of IPOB prelude to the proscription.
"That an order, proscribing the existence of the respondent (IPOB) in any part of Nigeria, especially in the South- East and South-South regions of Nigeria, either in groups or as individuals by whatever names they are called and publishing same in the official gazette and two national dailies, is granted".
The judge said the AG having the consent of the president was enough grounds for the earlier proscription ruling.
He then awarded the sum of N500 as cost against IPOB.
The court held that the order against the pro-Biafra group was legal.
He held that the AGF met all the requirements for the filing of the motion, including exhibiting the presidential order proscribing the organisaton.
He also stated that the letter signed by the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, which conveyed the approval as the duty of the president under section 40 of the Act could not be delegated.
Nevertheless, Justice Kafarati emphasized that the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria in section 45 provided that such right could be curtailed "in the interest of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health", as well as "for the goal of protecting the rights and freedom of other persons". "I hold that the applicant is subject to Nigerian law and courts".
Umahi said: "All activities of IPOB are, hereby, proscribed".