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Britain Bars IPOB, Other Biafran Groups From Asylum Scheme

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Britain Says IPOB Not Proscribed Terrorist Group

Due to Nigeria’s proscription of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) , the British government has barred the group from participating in its asylum programme.

Other Biafran groups such as the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra are also barred.

The British government noted that IPOB had been proscribed as a terrorist group by the Federal Government and that members of the group and its paramilitary wing – the Eastern Security Network – have reportedly committed human rights violations.

The UK, therefore, said that persons who commit human rights violations must not be granted asylum.

The UK Visas and Immigration had in March 2021 released new guidelines to its decision makers on how to consider and grant asylum applications to IPOB members whose founder, Nnamdi Kanu, was operating from London before his arrest in Kenya last year.

In the guidelines titled, ‘Country Policy and Information Note Nigeria: Biafran secessionist groups,’ the UKVI, a division of the Home Office, directed its decision-makers to consider if a person “who actively and openly supports IPOB is likely to be at risk of arrest and detention, and ill-treatment which is likely to amount to persecution.’’

READ ALSO: Nnamdi Kanu Extorted Money From Biafrans – Asari Dokubo

However, in the latest update published on its website on May 3, titled, ‘Country policy and information note: Separatist groups in the South-East, Nigeria,’the UKVI said, “IPOB is proscribed as a terrorist group by the Nigerian government, and members of the group and its paramilitary wing – the Eastern Security Network (created in December 2020) – have reportedly committed human rights violations in Nigeria and various media articles.

“MASSOB has been banned but is not a proscribed terrorist group in Nigeria. It too has reportedly been involved in violent clashes with the authorities.

“If a person has been involved with IPOB (and/or an affiliated group), MASSOB or any other ‘Biafran’ group that incites or uses violence to achieve its aims, decision-makers must consider whether one (or more) of the exclusion clauses under the Refugee Convention is applicable.

“Persons who commit human rights violations must not be granted asylum.

“If the person is excluded from the Refugee Convention, they will also be excluded from a grant of humanitarian protection.”

The policy directed that decision makers must also check if there has been a previous application for a UK visa or another form of leave, noting that asylum applications matched to visas should be investigated before the asylum interview.

According to the British government, establishing a convention reason is not sufficient to be recognised as a refugee.

“The question is whether the particular person has a well-founded fear of persecution on account of their actual or imputed convention reason,” it added.

For an asylum application to succeed, it said the decision-makers must consider each case on its facts, taking into account the legal status, profile, size, and organisation of the group/organisation to which the person belongs and its activities; whether a person in the UK would wish to continue their activism if returned to Nigeria (if not, why not) and whether the group/organisation has a presence in Nigeria as well as outside of the country and any evidence that it is being monitored by the government.

READ ALSO: We’re Working For Igbo To Have Biafran Nation – Northern Groups

Other considerations include the person’s profile and political activities (including those online) and relevant documentary or other evidence; the profile and activities of family members; past treatment of the person, and evidence that their activities in the UK may have come to the attention of the Nigerian security agencies.

The guidance further noted, “Decision-makers will also need to take into account whether the person supports and is active on behalf of IPOB, which is a proscribed group in Nigeria, and whether they fear prosecution rather than persecution.

“The onus is on the person to demonstrate that they are of interest to the government because of their profile and activities and are at risk of serious harm or persecution.”

 

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Police Arrest ESN, IPOB Members, Uncover Shrine With Python

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NEWSPolice Arrest ESN, IPOB Members, Uncover Shrine With Python

Seven suspected members of the Eastern Security Network (ESN) of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as well as a live python they used to fortify themselves before attacks have been arrested.

The Imo State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Micheal Abattam, who confirmed this to newsmen in Owerri, said “the Command’s Tactical Teams, on 18/5/2022 at about 0600 hours hastily mobilized when it received credible information that the native doctor who prepares charms for fortifications against bullets and knives for group has returned after fleeing the community.”

Narrating how the Police raided the camps, the police said, “with the positive revelations made in the course of interrogating the suspects earlier arrested in connection with the killing, the team was able to locate the criminal hideout in Ubah Agwa in Oguta LGA of Imo State and immediately cordoned-off the area and tactically went into the den.

“The hoodlums on sighting the police operatives, attempted to escape only to discover that the whole escape routes had been saturated with police operatives hence, they were arrested. ”

He gave the names of the arrested suspects as “Casmire Mgbugha ‘m’ aged 53 years, Hycent Chimezie ‘m’ aged 30 years, Hycent Azunna ‘m’ aged 28 years, Hycent Ifesinachi ‘m’ aged 26 years, Hycent Chimobi ‘m’ aged 23 years, Chukwuemeka Wisdom ‘m’ aged 22 years and Nnadike Clifford ‘m’ aged 72 years.”

The police said on searching the terror camp, the following items were recovered: one Toyota Camry car with registration number AKD 73 BF LAGOS, one live python, eight locally made pistols, eighteen rounds of live cartridges, one Biafra flag, a pair of police camouflage uniform belonging to the late Inspector Felicia Nwagbara ‘f’, who has been declared missing since 2017 by police authorities

READ ALSO: 107 IPOB Members Arrested In Ghana

While coming out of the terror camp, one of the suspects, Hycent Chimezie for the second time, attempted escaping and was maimed on the leg, the police spokesman said.

The police further said the suspects confessed to have murdered the late Inspector Felicia Nwagbara who was the second wife to one of the suspects – Casmire Mgbugba.

The suspected hoodlums further stated that they were the manufacturers of the locally made guns recovered from them, which they also sell to robbers and kidnappers.

“The command wishes to use this medium to appreciate the good people of Imo State for their undaunting support and assures them of the command’s commitments in sustaining the already improved security architecture in the State,” he said.

 

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Supreme Court Grants Rivers’ Request To Join Electoral Act Suit

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Supreme Court Grants Rivers' Request To Join Electoral Act Suit

The Supreme Court on Monday approved the request of Rivers State to join as an interested party a suit by President Muhammadu Buhari against the National Assembly on the Electoral Act 2022 .

The court has subsequently fixed Thursday, May 26, 2022 for the hearing of the suit.

Rivers State is to be represented in the suit by the Speaker of the State House of Assembly and the Attorney General of the state.

READ ALSO: Lawan Defies Court, Continues With Electoral Act Amendment

Justice Muhammad Musa Datijjo, who led a panel of seven justices of the court, adjourned the matter till Thursday following the concession by Buhari’s lawyer, Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), that the Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly and the Attorney General of the state be joined as parties in the suit.

Justice Dattijo then ordered the parties to file and exchange necessary processes latest next week Wednesday and return to the court on Thursday for hearing.

 

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Accountant General Ahmed Idris Suspended Over N80b Fraud

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Accountant General Ahmed Idris Suspended Over N80b Fraud

The accountant general of the federation Ahmed Idris has been suspended indefinitely by Zainab Ahmed, the minister of finance, budget and national planning.

This is coming two days after his arrest by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over an alleged N80 billion fraud.

READ ALSO: EFCC Arrests Accountant-General Over Alleged N80bn Fraud

In a letter dated May 18, 2022, Ahmed said the suspension “without pay” was to allow for “proper and unhindered investigation” in line with public service rules.
He is not expected to come to office or contact any official in his office except for any disciplinary hearing that may be advised.

 

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