Court Lifts South-East Govs. Ban On IPOB, Awards Nnamdi Kanu N8bn
The Enugu State High Court has declared the South-East Governors’ Forum ban on the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as illegal.
Justice A.O Onovo gave the ruling on Thursday, six years after the Forum under the leadership of former Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi proscribed activities of the pro-Biafra group.
The leader of the group Nnamdi Kanu had in the wake of the move approached the court, seeking a reversal and sought an N8bn payment in damages “for the physical, mental, emotional and psychological trauma he was subjected to”.
In his judgment, Justice Onovo declared IPOB’s proscription by the Forum as illegal and unconstitutional.
Justice Onovo then mandated the defendants to pay Kanu N8bn in damages. He also ordered them to apologise to the IPOB leader via newspaper publications.
Following the development, the Special Counsel to Nnamdi Kanu/IPOB Aloy Ejimakor hailed it, describing it as a “landmark victory”.
“Today, I led a team of lawyers to a landmark victory before the High Court of Enugu State in SUIT NO: E/20/2023 filed in January 2023 against the Southeast Governors’ Forum and the FG (Respondents) for their collective executive actions (in 2017) that led to the proscription of IPOB and declaring it a terrorist group in contravention of Section 42 of the Constitution which prohibits discrimination on the basis of ethnicity,” he said in a statement Thursday.
According to Ejimakor, the court “Declared that self-determination is not a crime and thus cannot be used as a basis to arrest, detain and prosecute the Applicant, MAZI NNAMDI KANU