May 07, (THEWILL) – The British High Commission has debunked reports that the United Kingdom (UK) Government has added the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), to its list of terrorist groups or organisations banned under UK law.
The Presidency, had in a statement issued on Friday evening by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba, commended the United Kingdom government for branding IPOB a terrorist group.
“Nigeria welcomes the decision by the United Kingdom to proscribe the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist group”, said Shehu.
Shehu further urged the UK to confiscate IPOB assets, shut down their communication channels and sanction the issuance of visas to IPOB’s funders in Nigeria.
But the UK government, in a response via a statement by the British High Commission in Abuja, said the reports that it branded IPOB as terror group was inaccurate.
“We are aware of inaccurate reporting circulating in the media and online that the UK Government has added the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to the UK’s list of terrorist groups or organisations banned under UK law. These reports are untrue. The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), is not a proscribed organisation in the UK”, it said.
According to the British High Commission, the inaccurate reporting relates to the April 13, 2022 publication by the UK Government of a revised Country Policy and Information note (CPIN) on separatist groups in South-East Nigeria, including IPOB.
It explained that CPINs provide country of origin information (COI) and analysis of COI for use by UK Government decision-makers handling particular types of protection and human rights claims.
“All asylum and human rights claims made in the UK are considered on their individual facts in accordance with our obligations under the UN Refugee Convention and European Convention on Human Rights, taking into account relevant background country information and case law.
“The CPIN on separatist groups in the South East, including the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), provides a general assessment of risks faced by individuals belonging to those groups. These assessments are based on an analysis of publicly available country information obtained from a wide range of reliable sources including media outlets; UK and other governments; local, national and international organisations; and non-government organisations.
“This CPIN also acknowledges that the Nigerian government has proscribed IPOB as a terrorist organisation, some members of IPOB have reportedly used violence against the state and members of the public, and advises that persons who have committed human rights abuses must not be granted protection.
“The document is publicly available on our UK Government website, Gov.UK at www.gov.uk/government/publications/nigeria-country-policy-and-information-notes,” the statement noted.