The Federal Government has gazetted the order of the Federal High Court in Abuja which proscribed the Indigenous People of Biafra and designated the group as a terrorist organisation.
The gazetting was part of the requirements imposed on the Federal Government by the court to finalise the proscription of the group.
With the gazetting, it is left for the Federal Government to publish the proscription order in two newspapers.
Meanwhile, our correspondent learnt on Monday that following the gazetting of the proscription order, the Federal Government, through the Central Authority Unit of the Federal Ministry of Justice, had commenced moves to notify banks, Nigerian embassies abroad and foreign missions operating in Nigeria from further relating with IPOB.
However, a copy of the gazette, sighted by our correspondent on Monday, showed that the five-page document was printed and published by the Federal Government Printer in Lagos on September 20, 2017, the particular date the Federal High Court in Abuja issued the proscription order.
The document was signed by the AGF.
It is titled, ‘Terrorism (Prevention) (Proscription Order) Notice, 2017’ is contained in Volume 104 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette.
Apart from its cover, the document has four pages, A69 to A73 and it is the ‘Government Notice No. 85’.
The three orders in the gazette notified the public of the “proscription order”; “liability for participation in proscribed group’s activities”, and the “short title of the order”.
It notified the public of the proscription of IPOB and warned that any person or group of persons participating in the activities of the group “in any manner” would be violating the provisions of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2011 as amended in 2013 and would be liable to be prosecuted.
The gazette, with commencement date of September 20, 2017, read in part, “NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that by the Order of the Federal High Court, Abuja, in suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/871/2017, dated September 20, 2017 as per the schedule to this Notice, the activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra are declared to be terrorism and illegal in any part of Nigeria, especially in the South-East and South-South regions of Nigeria as proscribed, pursuant to Section 2 of the Terrorism (Prevention)Act, 2011 (as mended).
“Consequently, the general public is hereby warned that any person or group of persons participating in any manner whatsoever in any form of activities involving or concerning the prosecution of the collective intentions or otherwise of the said groups will be violating the provisions of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2011 (as amended) and liable to prosecution.
“This Notice shall be cited as the Terrorism (Prevention) (Proscription Order) Notice, 2017.”
Also published in the ‘Schedule’ to the gazette were the orders issued by the court on September 20.
Sources in the Federal Ministry of Justice told The PUNCH on Monday that whichever institution, foreign or local and foreign nation that failed to respect Nigeria’s stance on the group would be designated as “unfriendly to Nigeria”.
Punch, September 26, 2017
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