IPOB, Geoffrey Ogbonna
Pro-Biafra activists, IPOB, wave flags in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, February 28. Pope Francis greeted the activists as indigenous peoples of Biafra during his Angelus address. | Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images

Justice Abdul Kafarati of the Federal High Court in Abuja, Wednesday, September 20, 2017 granted a request filed by Abubakar Malami, the attorney-general of the federation, requesting the proscription of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and declaring the group’s activities “acts of terrorism and illegality”.

Excerpts of the certified true copy of court judgment, dated September 20,2017, obtained by The Trent reads:

“IT IS HEREBY ORDERED AS FOLLOWS”

1) “That the application is granted as prayed.”

2) “THAT AN ORDER declaring  that the activities of the Respondent( Indigenous People of  Biafra) in any part of  Nigeria especially  in the South-East and South-South Regions of Nigeria amounts to acts of terrorism and illegality is granted.”

3) “THAT AN ORDER Order  proscribing the existence of the Respondents(Indigenous People of Biafra) in any part of Nigeria,especially the South-East and South-South Nigeria either in groups or as individuals by whatever names they are called  and publishing same in  the official gazette and two(2) National Dailies.”

4) “THAT AN ORDER restraining any person or groups of persons from participating in any manner  whatever in any form of activities  involving or concerning the  prosecution of the collective intentions or otherwise of Respondent(Indigenous People of Biafra) under any other name or platform, however, called or described in granted.”

According to reports, Justice Abdul Kafarati was hurriedly and “secretly sworn-in” as chief judge of the Federal High Court on Saturday, September 16, 2017. Observers believe that he was made the chief judge of the court for the purpose of issuing this court order to “legalise” the pronouncement by the Nigerian military.

The judge is reported to have a “checkered” past, one online news platform said. Last week, Justice Kafarati was named as one of several high profile government officials under investigation by the anti-graft commission, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. The agency has since denied that it was looking into the judge’s financial dealings.

Condemnation trails a move by the Nigerian military to proscribe IPOB and brand it a terrorist militant organisation.

Full text of  Court order is reproduced below

1) An order of this Honourable court declaring that activivites of the Respondent(Indigenous People of Biafra) in any part of  Nigeria especially in the South-East and South – South Regions of Nigeria amounts in acts of terrorism and illegality.

2)  An Order of this Honorable  court  proscribing the existence of the Respondents(Indigenous People of Biafra) in any part of Nigeria,especially the South-East and South-South Nigeria either in groups or as individuals by whatever names they are called  and publishing same in  the official gazzette and two(2) National Dailies.

3) An Order restraining any person or groups of persons from participating in any manner  whatever in any form of activities  involving or concerning the  prosecution of the collective intentions or otherwise of Respondent(Indigenous People of Biafra) under any other name or platform, however, called or described.

4) And for such further or any other  orders  as this Honorable court  may dim fit to make in the circumstances of this case.

AND UPON READING  the affidavit in support , certificate on compliance  with section 84 of Evidence Act 2011 both sworn to by CPL Kolawole Mathew of Nigerian Army and written by address attached  thereto all dated and filed at the Court Registry, Abuja.

AND AFTER HEARING  Mr. Abubakar Malami,SAN Hon. Attorney General of the Federation(with him Dayo Apata Esq,Solicitor General  Federal Ministry of Justice, Mrs Maimuna.L.Shiru, AG Director of Civil Litigation,T.A. Gazali Esq and Oyin Koleosho Esg, of counsel for thr Applicant move in terms of the motion paper.

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED AS FOLLOWS:

1)That the application is granted as prayed.

 2) THAT AN ORDER declaring  that the activities of the Respondent(Indigenous People of  Biafra) in any part of  Nigeria especially  in the South-East and South – South Regions of Nigeria  amounts to acts of  terrorism and illegality is granted.

3) THAT AN ORDER  proscribing the existence of the Respondents(Indigenous People of Biafra) in any part of Nigeria,especially the South-East and South-South Nigeria either in groups or as individuals by whatever names they are called  and publishing same in  the official gazzette and two(2) National Dailies.

 4) THAT AN ORDER  restraining any person or groups of persons from participating in any manner  whatever in any form of activities  involving or concerning the  prosecution of the collective intentions or otherwise of Respondent(Indigenous People of Biafra) under any other name or platform, however, called or described is granted.

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