UK finally declares IPOB as terrorist group, bars members from asylum
NEWS DIGEST – The United Kingdom government has finally accepted Nigeria’s classification of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, as a terrorist organisation.
Following widespread killings and acts of lawlessness, the Nigerian government had designated IPOB a terrorist group in 2017.
But some foreign countries, including the UK, where IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, holds its passport, did not acknowledge the declaration at the time.
Last year, UKVI had released new guidelines to its decision-makers on how to consider and grant asylum applications to IPOB.
However, four days after the outlawed group beheaded an army couple, who were on their way to Imo State for their traditional wedding, the UK acknowledged IPOB as a terrorist organisation, directing that it should be excluded from its asylum programme.
In a fresh update published on its website three days ago, 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.
“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.”