High Court in Enugu Declares IPOB Proscription Unconstitutional, Orders Apology and Damages.
In a significant legal development, a High Court in Enugu has ruled that the proscription and designation of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist organization by the Federal Government and the South East Governors are unconstitutional. The court has also ordered a joint apology to IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu and payment of N8 billion in damages for the infringement of his fundamental rights.
This landmark ruling was the outcome of a lawsuit brought before the court by IPOB’s legal team, led by Aloy Ejimakor. The case challenged the 2017 proscription of IPOB as a terrorist organization. In delivering the judgment, Justice A. O Onovo held that the proscription of IPOB was not in accordance with the constitution and, therefore, “unconstitutional.”
The court further declared that the arrest, detention, and prosecution of Nnamdi Kanu based on his membership in the group were “illegal, unlawful, and unconstitutional.” This decision emphasizes the significance of upholding the rule of law and due process in legal proceedings.
The court’s ruling also highlighted a violation of Section 42 of the Nigerian Constitution, which prohibits discrimination based on ethnicity. The proscription of IPOB was found to be in violation of this constitutional provision.
Aloy Ejimakor, in a statement to the media, described the court’s decision as a “landmark victory” for IPOB and its supporters. He noted that the ruling not only declared the proscription unconstitutional but also mandated an apology and significant damages to be paid to Nnamdi Kanu.
Today, I led a team of lawyers to a landmark victory before the High Court of Enugu State in a suit challenging the proscription of IPOB as a terrorist group,” Ejimakor stated. The court has declared the proscription unconstitutional and has ordered the Federal Government and the South East Governors to apologize to Kanu and pay him N8 billion in damages.
Ejimakor expressed his gratitude to his legal team and the supporters of Nnamdi Kanu for their contributions to this legal triumph. This ruling is expected to have far-reaching implications in the ongoing discussions surrounding IPOB and its status in Nigeria, reaffirming the importance of adhering to constitutional principles and the rule of law.