IPOB: Buhari Reportedly Signs Proclamation Proscribing Group


Emerging reports reveal that President Muhammadu Buhari has signed a presidential proclamation proscribing the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) over the group’s involvement in terrorist activities in the bid to relieve pressure on the Nigerian Army.

Sources in the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation disclosed that the President signed the declaration on Sunday, September 17, before his departure for the 72nd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, according to THISDAY.

Buhari’s decision to sign the proclamation follows the sharp criticism at the Nigerian Army after it declared IPOB as a terrorist organisation and the group’s proscription by the South-east governors.

According to the sources, Buhari was keen on signing the declaration before his departure for New York in order to have the right response in the event that the question over the declaration by the army was posed by other world leaders who have been watching events unfold in Nigeria.

See Also: FG Accuses IPOB Of Circulating Fake Videos To Implicate The Army

“The issue was extensively debated between Buhari, the AGF and other aides before he left for the UN General Assembly and the president decided to sign the declaration before leaving for New York, so he could say that due process was being followed if the question was raised by other world leaders at the UN,” the sources explained.

One of the sources explained that with the signing of the proclamation by Buhari, the presidency had effectively initiated the formal process of proscribing IPOB in accordance with the provisions of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2011.

Buhari vs IPOB

It also paved the way for the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN) to head to court to give legal backing to the presidential proclamation.

Read Also: Northern Governors Move To Douse Tension In The S’East

Section 2 (1) of the Terrorism Act states that “where two or more persons associate for the purpose of, or where an organisation engages in: (a) participating or collaborating in an act of terrorism; (b) promoting, encouraging or exhorting others to commit an act of terrorism; or (c) setting up or pursuing acts of terrorism, the judge in chambers may on an application made by the Attorney General, National Security Adviser or Inspector General of Police on the approval of the President, declare any entity to be a proscribed organisation and the notice should be published in the official gazette”.

Sub-section 2 goes further to state: “An order made under sub-section (1) of this section shall be published in the official gazette, in two national newspapers and at such other places as the judge in chambers may determine.”

On Monday, September 18, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai had said the Federal Government would take a final decision on the proscription of IPOB and the declaration of the organisation as a terrorist group.

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“As regards the proscription, the Federal Government will take a final decision on that. There are guidelines as provided in the Act on the Terrorism Act and I am sure the relevant government agencies will take appropriate steps whether to arrest or whether to do any other actions. We will receive the appropriate directives from the authorities,” the COAS said.

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