President Muhammadu Buhari is to order the forfeiture of assets belonging to the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to the federal government following the designation of the group as a terrorist organisation.
Sources at the Federal Ministry of Justice told the Punch of Monday, September 25, that the president is expected to appoint an administrator, who would oversee the forfeiture of IPOB’s assets, home and abroad, to the federal government.
According to the sources, the forfeiture of IPOB’s assets would no longer require any court order since the group had been designated a terrorist organisation.
The federal government has also reportedly documented the order of the Federal High Court which proscribed the group as a terrorist organisation and has commenced moves to notify banks, Nigerian embassies abroad and foreign missions operating in Nigeria from further relating with IPOB.
The document titled Terrorism (Prevention) (Proscription Order) Notice, 2017, notified the public of the proscription of IPOB and warned that any person or group of persons participating in the activities of the group “in any manner” would be violating the provisions of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2011 as amended in 2013 and would be liable to be prosecuted.
The document read in part: “NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that by the Order of the Federal High Court, Abuja, in suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/871/2017, dated September 20, 2017 as per the schedule to this Notice, the activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra are declared to be terrorism and illegal in any part of Nigeria, especially in the South-East and South-South regions of Nigeria as proscribed, pursuant to Section 2 of the Terrorism (Prevention)Act, 2011 (as mended).
“Consequently, the general public is hereby warned that any person or group of persons participating in any manner whatsoever in any form of activities involving or concerning the prosecution of the collective intentions or otherwise of the said groups will be violating the provisions of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2011 (as amended) and liable to prosecution.
“This Notice shall be cited as the Terrorism (Prevention) (Proscription Order) Notice, 2017.” Sources in the Federal Ministry of Justice told The PUNCH on Monday that whichever institution, foreign or local and foreign nation that failed to respect Nigeria’s stance on the group would be designated as “unfriendly to Nigeria”.
Government sources stated that having been designated as a terrorist organisation, whichever institution, foreign or local and foreign nation that failed to respect Nigeria’s stance on the group would be designated as unfriendly to Nigeria.
One of the sources said: “With the gazette done, the Central Authority Unit of the Federal Ministry of Justice will notify banks within and outside the country to stop relating with IPOB directly or indirectly.
“Foreign missions operating in Nigeria and Nigerian embassies abroad will also be notified.
“The President is also expected to appoint an administrator for the forfeiture of IPOB’s assets since the group has been declared unlawful in line with Section 62 of the Criminal Code Act.
“The forfeiture will no longer require any court order.”
Meanwhile, Nnamdi Kanu, the leader IPOB is reportedly hiding in the creeks in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria as security operations continue in the southeast.
We learnt that Kanu had suddenly disappeared from Abia state, where he resided and carried out majority of his activities since returning from detention.
The Point says it has strong indications that Kanu is hiding with some of his aides who escaped the heat of the Operation Python Dance in his home-base recently.
The report said the IPOB leader is not being protected by some militants in the Niger Delta as revealed by a top security source.
The source reportedly said Kanu’s disappearance into the creeks has become worrisome as this could compound the tension in the southeastern part of the country.