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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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Ex-minister Paul Unongo Is Dead

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Ex-minister Paul Unongo Is Dead

A former Minister of Power and Steel in the Second Republic, Paul Unongo is dead.

Unongo, who hailed from Jato Aka in the Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State, died Tuesday morning in Jos, the Plateau State capital at the age of 87.

A strong politician, he aspired to govern Benue State in 1983 but lost to the late Aper Aku.

In 2017, Unongo succeeded Maitama Sule as the chairman of the Northern Elders’ Forum.

READ ALSO: Pastor Reveals More Details On How Sammie Okposo Died

A close family source, who confirmed his death to reporters on the phone in Makurdi on Tuesday, simply said that his death would be announced in due course.

“Yes Wantaregh Paul Unongo died today Tuesday but I cannot say more than that because I am not authorised to do so. But our family will issue a formal statement on the development,” he said.

Another source in the state, who did not want to be mentioned, confirmed his death.

“This morning, I called and was told that they were bathing him but about 20 minutes after they told me he passed on,” said one of Tiv prominent sons.

Until his death, Unongo was the chairman of the Governing Council of Nigerian Educational Research Development Council.

Born on September 26, 1935, Paul Unongo, belonged to the Kwaghngise-Anure-Abera ancestry, in Turan, Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State.

 

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BREAKING: Court Sentences IGP To Prison

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BREAKING: Court Sentences IGP To Prison

For disobeying a valid court order, the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba has been sentenced to three months in prison.

The sentence came from the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Tuesday.

The court, in a ruling that was delivered by Justice M. O. Olajuwon, held that the IGP should be committed to prison and detained in custody for a period of three months, or until he obeys an order it made since October 21, 2011.

“If at the end of the three months, the contemnor remains recalcitrant and still refuses to purge his contempt, he shall be committed for another period and until he purges his contempt”, the court held.

The IGP’s committal followed a suit that was filed by a police officer, Mr. Patrick Okoli, who was unlawfully and compulsorily retired from the Nigerian Police Force.

READ ALSO: IGP Orders Troops Deployment On Lagos-Ibadan Expressway To Check Insecurity

Justice Olajuwon noted that though the Police Service Commission, PSC, recommended Okoli’s reinstatement into the Police, a decision that was affirmed by the court, the IGP, refused to comply with the order.

The court had also ordered the payment of N10million to the applicant, being special and general damages for the unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional denial of his rights and privileges as a senior officer of the Nigeria Police Force from 1993 till date.

 

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14 Working-day Paternity Leave For Federal Civil Servants Begins

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14 Working-day Paternity Leave For Federal Civil Servants Begins

With the Federal Government’s approval of the 14 working-day paternity leave for federal civil servants, the implementation of the policy has taken off.

The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HoCSF), Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, said this on Monday in a November 25 circular with ref no: HCSF/SPSO/ODD/NCE/RR/650309/3.

The circular titled, “Computation of Leave Based on Working Days and Approval of Paternity Leave in the Public Service,” said that this is in line with the provisions of the Public Service Rules, 2021 Edition, that the computation of all leave shall be based on working days.

“Government has also approved Paternity Leave for serving male officers whose spouse delivers a baby. The period of the leave shall be 14 working days. The leave shall not be more than once in two years, and for a maximum of four children.

“Where the family of a male officer adopts a child under four months old, the officer will similarly enjoy Paternity Leave for a period of 14 working days,” Yemi-Esan said.

READ ALSO: Govt Approves 14-day Paternity Leave

She said that the request for such leave shall be accompanied by the Expected Date of Delivery’s (EDD) report of the officer’s wife or evidence of approval of the adoption of the child by the relevant government bodies.

She also said that the effective date of the circular was November 25, 2022.

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) in September this year approved a 14-day paternity leave for men in the federal civil service, to make men properly bond with their newborn baby or adopted one.
She said the bonding was important to help the newly-born or adopted baby properly bond with the father in the early period.

“So, that is what has been approved for men so that the men and their babies also can bond well together. It’s important because we want the young children and the youth really to bond properly with their fathers, just as they bond well with their mothers.”

 

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