By Anthony Ogbonna
Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Prosecution, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, has said that the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, remains a terrorist organisation in Nigeria and its activities stands proscribed regardless of what the foreign nations such as the European Union (EU) and the United States of America (US) think of IPOB.
Read also:IPOB not a terrorist organisation – US govt
He said being an internal affair in Nigeria, both EU and US should mind their businesses and not meddle with Nigeria’s affairs, maintaining that doing so could amount to infringement to Nigeria’s territorial integrity.
Recall that the United States government had, weekend, said that it does not see the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, as a terrorist organisation.
The spokesman for the American Embassy in Nigeria, Russell Brooks, had maintained that IPOB is not seen under US laws as a terrorist organization.
But Obono-Obla, in his counter statement, disclosed that the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami(SAN), would soon charge the promoters and members of IPOB to court for allegedly operating illegally in Nigeria in violation of Section 54 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act.
In a statement he gave late on Sunday, Obono-Obla said IPOB’s activities qualified it as a terrorist group as defined by the provisions of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2013.
He said by its advocacy and modus operandi, IPOB terrorised, harassed or intimidated “those who do not subscribe to its separatists ideology and ethnic bigotry before its proscription”.
He added, “So it is a terrorist organisation! This is also an organisation that was hounding and killing Nigerians in Rivers and Abia States before the military intervention!
“This is a group that was burning police stations; killing police officers, throwing bombs at military convoys, threatening to make the country ungovernable, threatening to stop governorship election in Anambra State!
“Most importantly, a court of competent jurisdiction -Federal High Court as presided over by the Acting Chief Judge, Justice Abdul Kafarati upon an application filed by the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation hinged on Section 2 (1) (a) & (b) of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act granted an order proscribing IPOB! So whether EU or United States of Nigeria or any foreign country says about IPOB is immaterial , irrelevant and of no moment!”
He insisted that the designation of IPOB as a terrorist group with the backing of a court order proscribing it last week was Nigeria’s domestic affair, which foreign nations should not meddle in.
With particular reference to the European Union and the United States of America, Obono-Obla said meddling in Nigeria’s internal affair could erode the nation’s sovereignty.
He said, “I have previously said that the international community should not meddle in our internal affairs because doing that will amount to an erosion of our sovereignty!
“The EU has no business absolutely and totally with our internal matters so if EU says it does not see IPOB as a terrorist group, it does not matter as far as Nigeria is concerned.
“It is inconsequential! We all know by the definition of a terrorist organisation within the meaning of the term as defined by the provisions of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act , IPOB is a terrorist organisation! Also it by its advocacy and modus of operation it is a terrorist organisation! It used to terrorise, harassing or intimidating those who do not subscribe it to its separatists ideology and ethnic bigotry before its proscription so it is a terrorist organisation!
“I want to add that the USA may say IPOB is not a terrorist organisation by US Law because it is a registered business concern in the State of California in the United States!
“However by Nigerian law a foreign company which is not registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission by the provisions of Section 53 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act 2004 is illegal.
“And by Section 54 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act it is a criminal offence for a foreign company to operate in Nigeria without registration! So all this while IPOB was operating in Nigeria illegally!”