The Nigerian Presidency has fired back at Senate President, Bukola Saraki over his comments that the Nigerian military has no powers to declare the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) a terrorist organization.
Okoi Obono- Obla, President Buhari’s Special Assistant on Prosecution, said the Army’s declaration was in order. He said queried the senate president’s right to fault actions taken by the executive or any of its agencies
He said: “The military, as part of the executive branch of government, has the right to declare that IPOB is a terrorist organization for the purpose of quelling the threat posed to national security and corporate existence of the country by the unwholesome and nefarious activities of the organization.
“So, there is nothing absolutely wrong or unconstitutional for the military, for operational reason, to declare IPOB a terrorist organization.
“Declaration of IPOB as a terrorist organization does not amount to proscription of IPOB. Proscription of IPOB will surely be in accordance with the procedure and processes underlined in the provisions of Section 2 (1) of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2011.
“It provides thus: ‘Where two or more persons associate for the purpose of or where an organization engages in:
*(a) participating or collaborating in an act of terrorism;
*(b) promoting , encouraging or exhorting others to commit an act of terrorism ; or (c) setting or pursuing acts of terrorism, the judge in chambers may, on application made by the Attorney General, the National Security Adviser or Inspector- General of Police, on the approval of the President, declare any entity to be a proscribed organization and the notice should be published in official gazette.’
“The military never proscribed IPO, but only declared it a terrorist organization, because of the way and manner it has been carrying out its activities.
“These include pelting stones and cocktail Molotov bombs on convoys of military vehicles, burning of police stations, killing of police officers, attacking and threatening Nigerians living in Abia State, who do not subscribe to its separatist and militants ideology, creating the Biafra Security Service and Biafra National Guard.”