Declaration of indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB) a terrorist organization: A position not founded in law, and where the Nigeria Military Authority goofed.
In a brief but concise reaction to the purported declaration of IPOB a terrorist group, Barr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor observed with respect that the pronouncement is akin to a building not laid upon any foundation, which is certainly bound to fail, it can’t stand. The pertinent question begging for answer in this context, is whether the Nigeria Military authority has the constitutional powers, under a democratic dispensation, to declare an organization, a terrorist group? The answer is capital NO. Without dwelling much on the items cited by the military authority as those constituting the activities of ipob as terrorists group, I respectfully wish to invoke the relevant laws that deal with the exercise which the military hastened to usurp.
TERRORISM (PREVENTION) ACT, 2011 ACT No. 102.
(1). Where two or more persons associate 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 any 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.
In other words, the power to declare an entity a “proscribed organisation” under the Terrorism Prevention Act belongs to the NSA, HAGF or the IGP, and not to the DHQ or even the State Governors. Such an action has to be gazetted with the approval of the President. So far only 2 groups have been so gazetted: Ansaru & Boko Haram.
Until the above law is strictly complied with, I advise the members of indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB) to continue to conduct themselves in non violent manner they are well known for, and never to indulge in any form of arm struggle or acts capable of endangering the national security, or even confronting security agents, even on the face of the ongoing unprovoked attack by the soldiers presently deployed to the South East on operation “Egwu eke”.
On behalf of Indigenous people of Biafra, our law offices had filed a formal complaint before the relevant international organizations, and comity of nations, on the carnage presently going on in the south Eastern States. South Eastern state Governors are quickly reminded that a Resolution contained in a communique issued at the end of a political forum meeting such as theirs can’t transform to Executive order that need to be gazzeted, adhering strictly to procedures laid down under our laws.
Both pronouncements are patently faulty, and in so far as they do not conform with the procedures laid down under our law, they can’t stand.