The appeal filed in 2018 by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, seeking the reversal of IPOB proscription as a terrorist group by the Federal Government could be revisited.
This was made known, yesterday, to The Guardian by the Special Counsel for the Appellants, Mr. Aloy Ejimakor, who said that the services of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Chukwuma-Machukwu Ume, has been engaged to step up the appeal.
Ejimakor said: “When the proscription was made ex parte in October 2017, IPOB approached the Court of Appeal, insisting that the trial court was in error and prayed that the order be set aside.”
He said that IPOB had framed five grounds, which include that the activities of the group were not within the definition of terrorism acts as enshrined in Section 2 (1)(a)(b) & (c) of the Terrorism Prevention (Amendment) Act 2013, to warrant such proscription.
Machukwu-Ume had recently determined that there was need for amendments of the existing grounds of arguments to help set in motion a just and favourable determination of the pending appeal, adding that he is leading a team of lawyers, comprising IPOB’s senior and principal lawyers, Aloy Ejimakor and Ifeanyi Ejiofor.
Ejimakor, who said that based on available court documents, “the proposed amended notice and grounds of appeal, which are now 18 in total, accuses the Attorney General of the Federation of “looking the other way while the Fulani herdsmen were killing, maiming and kidnapping all over Nigeria, while, on the other hand, applying to the court for the Appellants, who do not cause any violence, to be proscribed.”
ALSO, member representing Aba South Constituency in the Abia State House of Assembly, Obinna Ichita, yesterday, urged the Federal Government to view Kanu’s case from the prism of being a factor worthy of consideration in the search for lasting peace in the South East, the entire country and not the cause of insecurity.”
He said that political solution remains the best option to resolving the impasse, urging the Federal Government to heed appeals by eminent Nigerians to dialogue with Kanu and other agitators of self-determination to find lasting solution to the rising tension in the country.
The lawmaker spoke yesterday in Abuja while commenting Federal High Court’s refusal of bail application by Kanu, predicting that the release of the IPOB leader would tremendously help to douse the tension in the South East.