From: Paul Osuyi, Asaba

Acting President-General of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Elders’ Council, Chief Joseph Achuzia, has condemned the labeling of the separatist group as a terrorist organisation by the Nigerian Army.

Achuzia, a civil war veteran, also lashed out at the governors of South-East states for proscribing activities of IPOB in the zone.

He contended that the actions of the governors and the army were null, void and of no effect, insisting that they lacked the authority to either declare IPOB a terrorist organization or proscribed its activities.

Achuzia told Daily Sun I,n Asaba, that there were constitutional provisions and laid down procedures to declare any group as a terrorist organisation.

According to him: “What constitute the acts of terrorism are well defined in Section 1(2) of the Terrorism (Provision) Act of 2011 and as amended in 2013

“Section 2 of same Act stipulates that only a judge can declare an organization proscribed based on proven case or acts of terrorism and such case will be presented to the judge through an application made by the Attorney General or the National Security Adviser or the Inspector General of Police with the approval of the President. The judge’s declaration will thereafter be gazetted.”

Achuzia said the declaration by the army and South-East governors was judicially provocative and belligerent, adding that the conditions for an organization to be labelled terrorist group are specified in Section 62 of CAP C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004.

“The action of the South-East governors is null and void because it did not follow the provisions of law. The governors, by their declaration usurped the functions of the judicial arm of government.

“IPOB is not a terrorist organization because no court of competent jurisdiction has so declared it. The so called declaration by the army is null and void and of no effect. The public should ignore such illegal and ill advised declaration,” he added.

Achuzia noted that the army and the governors should be charged for contempt of court, explaining that earlier this year, an Abuja Federal High Court gave a subsisting ruling that IPOB is not an unlawful organisation.

He stated the case instituted against the Federal Government by IPOB Elders’ Council was in progress, adding that the so called declaration by the army and the governors will not deter the progress of the case.

“We are in court against the Federal Government not on the issue of break away from Nigeria. We are in court to ask for a decision whether we have a right to be called Biafrans having fought as Biafrans during the war. We are also asking the court to determine whether or not we have a right for self determination. We are continuing with the case,” he noted.

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Posted on Sep 18, 2017 - Last updated on Sep 18, 2017
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