The Nigerian Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has insisted that it is not within the jurisdiction of the military to declare the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist group.
In a statement by the Executive Secretary Micheal Ajayi and and middle belt coordinator, NHRC Sanusi Suleiman, the military should have made its findings and submitted to the National Assembly for consideration.
It has foreclosed the prospect of negotiation which is an essential element of democracy and free speech
We are not in a military regime. It is wrong for the military that should be under civilian authority to determine which organisation is a terrorist or not.
In a democracy, the military should have made its findings and submitted same to the national assembly for deliberations.
There is no basis to ban IPOB. The Nigerian constitution recognises the freedom of association.
Though IPOB declares it is fighting for separation from a section of the country from Nigeria, the solution is constructive engagement and not outright banning of the group.
Under the terrorism act 10 2011 passed by the Nigerian national assembly, only a high court judge on the advice of the national security adviser, the inspector general of police or the attorney-general of the federation can declare an organisation a terrorist group ad such has to be published in a Gazzzet making the proclamation of the governors and the Military to be illegal.
We have sent a petition to the United Nations, (UN) office in Geneva. We have already been invited in pursuant to the procedures and expectations of the UN Rapporteur on Human Rights. Nigeria and her component states should show respect to the dictates of universal standards
The group urged the federal government to release IPOB members in detention or charge them to court. On Friday, the Defence Headquarters branded IPOB a militant terrorist organisation.