Court Fixes February To Hear Suit Seeking Biafra Republic
From Bridget Chiedu Onochie, Abuja
Court Fixes February To Hear Suit Seeking Biafra Republic – Justice Babatunde Quadri of the Federal High Court, Abuja has fixed February 25, 2019 for hearing of a suit seeking the actualization of a sovereign state of Biafra.
The suit originally began in the Owerri division of the court, before it was transferred to Abuja at the instance of the Federal Government.
The Incorporated Trustees of Bilie Human Rights Initiative, representing the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) against the Federal Government of Nigeria and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), filed the suit.
Specifically, the plaintiff wants an actualization of the sovereign state of Biafra through legal means.
In its counter affidavit to the preliminary objection filed by the Federal Government, the plaintiff argued: “If Biafra is carved out of the present Nigeria today as a sovereign and independent nation, Nigeria has nothing to lose as it will still remain great and the giant of Africa.
“It would have abundant peace, progress, unity, strong economy, political, religious and cultural harmony that shall be without comparison within the African sub-region and beyond.”
President of Billie Human Rights Initiative, Dr. Innocent Amadi, who deposed to the 13- paragraph counter affidavit averred that “in order to terminate the present suit, by all means, the Federal Government took undue advantage of the rift with Nnamdi Kanu’s faction of IPOB in filling an ex-parte application at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
He said Federal Government had used the court, presided over by the then Acting Chief Judge, Justice Abdul Karafati, to “horridly secure an ex-parte order to kill permanently our struggle for self-determination and our genuine and lawful efforts to actualize the sovereign State of Biafra through legal means.”
At yesterday’s sitting, the applicant prayed the court to transfer the case back to Federal High Court, Owerri and adjourn indefinitely.
He prayed that this should remain until the sister suits No: FHC/CS/124/2017, which was earlier filed by applicants/respondents, challenging the proscription order of IPOB as a terrorist organisation is heard.
While Ohaeto Uwazie, who held brief for Dr. Francis Dike (SAN), represented the applicant, Mrs. B.O. Akinseyi-George, who stood in for Prof. Yemi Akinseyi-George (SAN), represented the Federal Government at the proceedings.
The Federal government had in its preliminary objection, asked the court to dismiss the suit.
It held that it was incompetent, illegal and incurably bad, by virtue of the order made on September 20, 2017 by Justice Abdul Karafati, which proscribed IPOB as a terrorist organisation.
But Justice Quadri, who said he just took over the case file, requested for time to study the file because of “the sensitive nature of the case.”