The Nigerian government says it is still studying a recent judgment by an Enugu State high court nullifying its proscription of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist group.
Muhammad Idris, the Minister of Information, stated on Friday at a press briefing in Abuja that the federal government will take an informed position soon after it finishes examining the judgement.
The state High Court in Enugu, on Thursday, ruled as unlawful the 2017 proscription of the IPOB which led to the separatist group being declared a terrorist organization by the Nigerian government.
The judge, A.O. Onovo, declared that the reliance on the country’s Terrorism Prevention Act and the administrative action of the Southeast Governors’ Forum and the federal government to proscribe IPOB contradicted Section 42 of the Nigerian Constitution which prohibits discrimination based on ethnicity.
Justice Onovo ruled that the proscription of IPOB was also a violation of Kanu’s fundamental rights as enshrined under Articles 2, 3, 19, and 20 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (Enforcement and Ratification) Act.
The court also declared that self-determination was not a crime, and therefore, could not be used as a basis to arrest, detain, and prosecute the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
The Nigerian government was ordered to publicly apologize to Kanu and pay him N8 billion as damages for the physical, mental, emotional, psychological, property, and other damages he suffered as a result of the infringements of his fundamental rights.