The Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed an application by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) seeking to compel the Chief of Army staff to produce the missing leader of the group, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu.
Justice Binta Nyako also over-ruled the appeal for lack of merit and proof, that the chief of army staff was indeed the last person seen with Kanu.
Counsel to IPOB, Ifeanyi Ejiofor had prayed the court to order the Chief of Army staff to produce his client claiming that no member of Kanu’s family had seen or heard from him since September 14th, 2017.
Opposing the motion, however, the counsel to the Army, Mr. Akinlolu Kehinde, told the court that Kanu was not and had never been in the custody of the Nigerian army.
Ejiofor on October 17 during the trial told the court that he is looking for his client.
He said he had filed a suit asking the court to compel the Nigerian Army to produce the leader of IPOB alleging that his disappearance is unconnected with the invasion of his home by the Nigerian Army on September 11, 2017.
The Federal High Court in Abuja on 18th of January 27, 2018 rejected an application by the proscribed group, challenging the order banning it.
In a ruling by Justice Adamu Kafarati, the court held that the proscription order made ex-parte on September 20 last year was validly made.
The court also held that IPOB’s application, seeking the vacation of the proscription order was unmeritorious and deserved to be dismissed.
The judge awarded N500,000 cost against IPOB.
The South East Governors’ Forum had proscribed the activities of the IPOB in the wake of the group’s confrontation with the military in Abia state.
Arising from its emergency meeting in Enugu, Chairman of the forum, Gov. Dave Umahi of Ebonyi requested the group and other of such groups to articulate their grievances and send to the forum.
Umahi appealed to all governors in the zone to ensure compliance with the directive in their various states and for the Federal Government to withdraw the troops in the zone.
Umahi said: “All activities of IPOB are, hereby, proscribed. IPOB and all other aggrieved groups are advised to articulate their position on all national issues.
“Such should be submitted to the committee of governors, Ohaneze Ndi Igbo and National Assembly members from the South East zone through the chairman of the South East Governors’ Forum,” he said.
The Presidency also issued proscribed the group which was challenged in court.
Justice Abdul Kafarati of the Federal High Court in Abuja had earlier endorsed the presidential order banning the Indigenous People of Biafra(IPOB).
The Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, had filed an exparte application urging the court to grant the injunction.
President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier given written approval for the proscription of the group, pending legal process.