The Federal High Court, Abuja has granted an ex-parte application filed by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), proscribing the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The order also declared as illegal, all activities of the organisation nationwide.The court also restrained “any person or group of persons from participating in any of the group’s activities.” The Acting Chief Judge, Justice Adamu Kafarati, granted the order after listening to Malami, who argued the exparte motion in his chamber yesterday.
He ordered the government to publish the order in its official gazette and two national dailies.However, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, yesterday said the group was a contraption by treasury looters and other politically disgruntled Nigerians in France and other countries overseas to destabilise the current administration.
“Let me tell you, the financial headquarters is in France, we know,” he stated.Addressing State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in Abuja, the minister disclosed that relevant agencies of government had begun moves to block the channels.
He said: “This is not rocket science, any treasury looter would do everything possible to distract government. If by any act, God forbid it, Nigeria is today engulfed in war, and is now involved in trying to quell unrest, will the courts be spared, what would be the first priority of government? It will be to quell that riot. So, it is a way of distraction to ensure that government is not focused.
“So, it is not rocket science that a person today who has a case in court or almost going to jail will try and cause confusion, he would go and support IPOB.”
Mohammed continued: “We have the records. We know IPOB collects money from many people abroad. They collect money from many people in Nigeria, they collect money from some foreign countries, this is clear.
“Let me tell you, the financial headquarters is in France, we know. But you see, can you as a government stop sending money to your parents? You have to block the sources of finance.“It is incontrovertible that some people in the Diaspora contribute money to IPOB, where does he (Nnamdi Kanu) get his money from. We know this as a fact. Again, there are a few very naughty diplomatic issues which you need to skip, for instance who does not know that the IPOB internal radio is located in London? We know the diplomatic moves we have been taking in approaching the United Kingdom, as they do not appreciate the damages. To them, it is about freedom of expression.”
The minister further said: “If we have a person in Nigeria openly soliciting arms to come and fight the UK, what would you think of, would you consider that freedom of expression? And this is a country that also has had a history. What did Irish Republican Army (IRA) do to be labelled a terrorists organisation? They were planting bombs, fighting the British army. I don’t want any diplomatic row, we know for a fact where the funding is coming from and we are going to stop them.”He noted that although it was within the rights of individuals or groups to seek self-determination, but added that the pursuit must be non-violent.