According to a report by THISDAY, President Muhammadu Buhari, before leaving Nigerian on Sunday, signed a proclamation declaring separatist group, the Indigenous People Of Biafra, IPOB, a terrorist organisation.
The report which claimed sources in the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, said “Buhari’s decision to sign the proclamation was a fallout of the sharp criticism that followed the declaration of IPOB as a terrorist organisation by the Nigerian Army at the weekend and the group’s proscription by the South-east governors.”
NewsWire NGR had reported that the Senate President, Bukola Saraki debunked the proscription of IPOB, insisting that the country has a laid down procedure for proscription of any group.
According to the report, Buhari’s move was to ensure that when he finally arrived at the United Nations General Assembly, UNGA 72, he will have an appropriate response for world leaders who are monitoring the situation between IPOB and the army.
Buhari’s signing of the proclamation is believed to also clear the way for Malami to head to court to seek legal backing for IPOB’s proscription.
Section 2 (1) of the Terrorism Act states that “where two or more persons associate for the purpose of, or where an organisation 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 any entity to be a proscribed organisation and the notice should be published in the official gazette”.
Sub-section 2 goes on to say: “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.”
With Malami expected to be in court any moment now, the IPOB will have to get representation to argue its case in court.
NewsWire NGR also reported earlier that the leader of the group’s whereabouts remains unknown after the Army raided his home in Aba.