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The detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has filed a lawsuit against Federal Government for labeling the separatist group, a terror organisation.
The suit marked E/20/2023, and filed by Kanu’s Special Counsel, Aloy Ejimakor, at an Enugu State High Court, is seeking the court’s order that self-determination is not a crime, and consequently, cannot be used as basis to arrest, detain and prosecute Kanu and members of IPOB.
Other respondents in the suit are President Muhammadu Buhari, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice and South East governors.
Ejimakor told The Guardian, yesterday, that the court is urged to bar the respondents from taking further steps in “any criminal prosecutions of the applicant and members of IPOB on the basis of the said proscription of IPOB and its listing as a terrorist group.”
According to him, “the suit began with originating application brought pursuant to Order II Rules 1 and 2 of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009, Section 42 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), Articles 2, 3, 19 and 20 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Right (Ratification and Enforcement) Act and under the jurisdiction of the court as preserved by Sections 6 and 46 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).”
He added that Kanu contended that the proscription of IPOB and its listing as a terrorist organisation is illegal under Section 42 of the 1999 Constitution as amended and under Articles 2, 3, 19 and 20 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (Enforcement and Ratification) Act. No hearing date has been fixed.
In a related development, Ejimakor told reporters on Tuesday, that he has also instituted a fresh court case to restrain the Attorney General of the Federation/ Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, from his repeated claims that Kanu jumped bail in 2017.
Ejimakor said that Kanu, in the said suit, filed at the Abia State High Court, Umuahia, is also asking the court to grant him other reliefs, including N20 billion for general and exemplary damages.
He described Malami’s repeated claim that Kanu jumped bail as libellous and defamatory, considering that an Umuahia court had ruled that Kanu did not jump bail.