Victory came the way of the Nigerian government in faraway United States of America, USA, following the dismissal of an application filed by a secessionist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, against the federal government and 16 Nigerian officials by a United States District Court for the District of Columbia
IPOB, which has been proscribed by the Nigerian government, had dragged 16 Nigerian officials to a United States District Court for the District of Columbia for alleged extrajudicial killings of its members/Biafrans, following what the group described as peaceful protests in the wake of arrest and detention of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
LEADERSHIP learnt that the United States District Court, agreed with the motion of the Nigerian government and dismissed IPOB’s case against the Nigerian government officials.
The court, while dismissing IPOB’s action, upheld the submission of Anthony O. Egbase, (AOE) Law and Associates, representing the Nigerian government on two grounds which include that the court lacks jurisdiction and that the Nigeria government officials have foreign official immunity.
The officials include: Tukur Yusuf Buratai; Lawal Musa Daura; Ibrahim Attahiru; M.I. Ibrahim; Kasim Umar Sidi; Issah Maigari Abdullahi; Solomon Arase; Ibrahim Kpotun Idris and Okezie Ikpeazu.
Others are: Willie Obiano; Habila Hosea; Peter Nwagbara; James Oshim Nwafor; Hosea Karma; Bassey Abang; and Johnson Babatunde Kokomo.
It was gathered that the suit was grounded on two muscular United States’ statutes; the Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA or ATS – the Alien Tort Statute); and the Torture Victims Protection Act (TVPA).
The suit arose from a long running intra Nigerian conflict between the Nigerian government and Biafrans, who are people of predominantly Igbo ethnicity and Christian religion, who have sought secession from Nigeria for decades.
IPOB, represented by D.C. Attorneys, Fein & Del Valle PLLC, sued the Nigerian government officials (military, police and two governors), seeking hundreds of millions of dollars, at the United States District Court.
The secessionist group claimed that the government officials conspired and agreed to kill Biafran civilians in order to quash Biafra and terrorise the Biafra population, adding that the government officials engaged in extrajudicial killings of Biafrans by brutally torturing and killing peaceful protesters during the Biafran Patriots Day parade of May 30, 2017.
Recall that the Republic of Biafra declared independence in 1967, resulting in the Nigerian Civil War, but Biafra was reintegrated into Nigeria in 1970.
IPOB has indulged in the agitation for the secession of Biafra from Nigeria citing perceived marginalisation.