A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, has fixed February 25, 2019, for the hearing of a suit seeking the actualisation 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 suit was filed by 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).
Specifically, the plaintiff wants an actualisation of the sovereign state of Biafra through legal means.
However, 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.”
Innocent Amadi, President of Billie Human Rights Initiative, 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.
The Billie Human Rights Initiative 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 actualise the sovereign State of Biafra through legal means.”
Justice Babatunde Quadri, who presided over the matter, fixed February 25, 2019, for the hearing of the suit.
The IPOB, led by Kanu, is seeking secession from Nigeria. The group has since been proscribed by the Nigerian Government.