The Presidency has insisted that the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, under the leadership of Nnamdi Kanu remains a terrorist organization despite the United States, and European Union, UN, holding a contrary view.
Following the proscription of the pro-Biafra group by the Nigerian Government recently, the US, had declared that the group is not a terrorists organization.
Reacting to the stance by the foreign nations, the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Prosecution, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, said the recognition of IPOB as a terrorist group by foreign nation is inconsequential.
Obono-Obla in a statement released on Sunday, September 24 said IPOB remained as a terrorist group as defined by the provisions of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2013.
He said that IPOB harassed or intimidated “those who do not subscribe it to its separatists ideology and ethnic bigotry before its proscription”.
“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 has 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 said US or EU’s meddling in Nigeria’s affair could erode the country’s sovereignty and with the proscription of the group by a court, its activities remained illegal.
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!”