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UK Reviews Asylum Policy, Favours LGBTI, Ignores IPOB Members

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UK Reviews Asylum Policy, Favours LGBTI, Ignores IPOB Members
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UK Reviews Asylum Policy, Favours LGBTI, Ignores IPOB Members

The UK has remained silent about asylum for members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB).

The UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has reviewed guidelines for its decision makers on how to consider and grant asylum applications made by persons fleeing Boko Haram and ISWAP in northeast Nigeria, TheCable can report.

In a recent review seen by TheCable, UKVI is willing to grant asylum to LGBTI persons or women who work or are in education — and other social groups at risk of attack by extremists in the region.

The UK has remained silent about asylum for members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB).

In April 2021, TheCable reported that the UK said it would grant asylum to “persecuted” members of IPOB, which has been designated as a terrorist organisation by the Nigerian government, and MASSOB.

UK Reviews Asylum Policy, Favours LGBTI, Ignores IPOB Members

A few days later, following the report and subsequent complaints from the Nigerian government, the UK pulled down the policy notes, stating that it was being reviewed.

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In the most recent July 2021 review, UKVI updated its designation for insurgent groups in northeast Nigeria, clearly naming them “Islamist extremists” in the region.

It said Nigerians could now claim asylum in the UK if they face “fear of persecution and/or serious harm by members of Boko Haram because of” their “actual or perceived opposition to the group”.

The guidelines, now known as country policy and information note, added that Nigerians could claim asylum if they belong to a social group that is “not compliant with Boko Haram ideology”.

Examples include “women who work or are in education and lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) persons”.

WOMEN AND BOKO HARAM

Boko Haram started as an insurgent group in northeast Nigeria in 2009, but has since gone through numerous changes in leadership, ideology and affiliation.

One thing that seemed to have remained constant is the abduction of women and girls, attacks on schools and general opposition to western education.

In 2016, Boko Haram split into two groups: Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA or ISWAP); and Jamaat Ahl al-Sunna li-Dawa wal-Jihad (JASDJ), which maintained the name Boko Haram.

Following the reported death of Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram, a reunion has been reported to have happened between both groups. Boko Haram has continued striking post-reunion, recently injuring two women in the process.

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As a result of Boko Haram’s historical and current records, women, especially women in education, are at more risk of persecution from the group, giving them more preference when seeking asylum.

The UK said “the groups have also forcibly recruited and abducted thousands of men, women and children, subjecting many to intimidation and abuse including sexual violence, forced marriage and using young girls, in particular, to carry person-borne IED’s/as suicide bombers”.

LGBTI: HURT BY BOKO HARAM, REJECTED BY GOVT

In January 2014, former president Goodluck Jonathan, signed into law a bill that criminalises same-sex relationships, defying western pressure over gay rights and provoking criticism from the US, UK and much of the international community.

The law prescribes 14 years imprisonment for same-sex “amorous relationships” and membership of gay rights groups in the country.

President Muhammadu Buhari has come under pressure to repeal the law, but that move has made no progress with the incumbent administration.

UKVI prescribes internal relocation for persons persecuted by Boko Haram in the northeast, suggesting they could be taken to central and southern Nigeria, which is “generally not directly affected by activities” of the group.

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However, members of the LGBTI community can be victimised anywhere in Nigeria, raising the stakes for them, when applying.

“Boko Haram continues to be able to operate in rural areas of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states, and to be able to attack targets in rural and urban areas in the North East of the country,” the UKVI said.

“In areas outside of the North East where the threat is from Boko Haram, the authorities are generally able and willing to provide effective protection. Women, LGBTI persons and non-indigenes may face additional discrimination which prevents them from being able to access effective protection.

As a result, the UK is willing to offer protection for such people if the risk of persecution is confirmed.

“The question to be addressed in each case is whether the particular person will face a real risk of persecution on account of their actual or imputed convention reason,” UKVI added.

While women and LGBTI persons are at a higher risk, UKVI added that decision makers “must, however, still consider all claims on an individual basis, taking into account each case’s specific facts”.

Thecable.ng

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Biafra

No sit-at-home in the SouthEast on 19 and 20 January – IPOB

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No sit-at-home in the SouthEast on 19 and 20 January – IPOB

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has stated that there will be no sit-at-home in Biafra land on January 19th and 20th.

The Media and Publicity Secretary for IPOB, Comrade Emma Powerful stated this in a press release made available to Chrysora Media on Saturday.

Emma Powerful stated, however, that the entire Biafra land will be on lock down only on January 18, the day their leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, is billed to appear in court.

He noted that 19th January is the judgment day in the suit by Nnamdi Kanu against the Federal Government in a suit pending before an Umuahia High Court.

“So, there will be no sit-at-home on that day,” he said categorically.

Regretting the inconveniences caused by the routine lockdowns, he said:

“We don’t want to compound the pains of our people, hence, we will limit the sit-at-home to only January 18.

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“Biafrans and residents of Biafra are free to go about their businesses without molestations on 19th and 20th January.

“Anybody found enforcing non-existent Monday sit-at-home on 17th, 19th and 20th is criminal and must be treated as such.

“IPOB leadership have given order and that order is signed.”

Emma Powerful urged IPOB coordinators to be careful because every principal of IPOB, mostly the coordinators, must know that it will bounce on their heads if they don’t checkmate the activities of members and call them to order.

“IPOB is not village or social club where everybody will behave untoward to people like cultists.

“It is on the table and to the knowledge of IPOB leadership how some principal officers were encouraging evils in IPOB without minding the repercussions and consequences but we want to make categorically known to them that it will come back to him or her that encouraged evil against his or her fellow human beings,” he said.

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For clarity sake, he reiterated that there will be no sit-at-home on January 19th and 20th.

No sit-at-home in the SouthEast on 19 and 20 January – IPOB

“Nobody is expected to interfere with either human or vehicular movements in those days under any guise.

“Any detractor or agent of darkness caught obstructing peoples activities in Biafra land on January 19th and 20th in the name of enforcing sit-at-home will regret his or her actions.

“We realise that some unscrupulous and traitors are trying to create confusion about these days and dishing false information and propaganda trying to create confusion in Biafra land.

“IPOB never declared sit-at-home on 19th and 20th of January 2022. Therefore, we want all Biafrans to go to their normal business on these days without fear.

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“Anybody issuing order for sit at home on 19th and 20th of January is not a member of IPOB.

“Such persons are working against the interest of our leader and the entire struggle for independence. They should be disregarded.

“For the umpteenth time, IPOB is under one Central command and Control , and doesn’t have parallel or factional leadership.

“The Directorate of State (DOS) under the command of our leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, is in charge of the global movement of IPOB.

“Anybody who is not loyal to DOS is an impostor and should be disregarded.

“We expect our people everywhere to adhere to this directive and refuse to be misled by sacked members of IPOB in Europe and America.

“IPOB remains unshakeable, built and rooted on the rock and will remain so until the freedom for Biafra is fully achieved,” he concluded.

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Biafra

Nnamdi Kanu: Uphold Justice, Ohanaeze Youth Council Urges Abia Judiciary

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Nnamdi Kanu: Uphold Justice, Ohanaeze Youth Council Urges Abia Judiciary

PRESS STATEMENT

The apex youth wing of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the Ohanaeze Youth Council has charged the Judiciary to deliver judgement on Mazi Nnamdi Kanu case without any fear or favor.

The Council gave this charge today, Friday, January 14, 2022, through her National President, Comrd. Igboayaka O. Igboayaka, during an interface with newsmen in Umuahia, Abia State capital.

The council recalled that Barr. Aloy Ejimakor had earlier filed a suit on Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s fundamental human rights at Abia State High Court Umuahia, seeking to enforce his human rights against the Nigeria government and her security agents.

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Ohanaeze Youth Council(OYC) has been following and monitoring the Abia Court proceedings since 27th August 2021 that the case was filed, till the last court appearance when the suit was heard and concluded on 10th December, 2021 before Justice Benson Anya of the High Court of Abia State in Umuahia.

Comrade Igboayaka, while speaking as regards the case expressed confidence in the Judiciary and urged the Judge to deliver judgement in accordance with the law without prejudice.

He further stated that; “One of the greatest values of Judiciary is her independence, and this value has shaped the pathway of Judiciary in Nigeria, by giving hope to a common man. Therefore, Ohanaeze Youth Council(OYC) the mouthpiece of over 30 million Igbo Youths, count on Judiciary to serve justice on the Case of Fundamental human rights of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu on 19th January 2022”.

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Meanwhile, Igboayaka used the medium to urged members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, led by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu to remain calm and “act within the framework of the law”, pointing out that the “Judiciary will continue to checkmate Executive rascality by delivering sound judgement devoid of Executive influence”.

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IPOB: Nnamdi Kanu Fully Prepared To Appear In Court Next Week – Lawyer

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Nnamdi Kanu: Uphold Justice, Ohanaeze Youth Council Urges Abia Judiciary
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IPOB: Nnamdi Kanu Fully Prepared To Appear In Court Next Week – Lawyer

The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is optimistic of victory as he would appear before Justice Binta Nyako of a Federal High Court in Abuja next week, his lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor has said.

Ejiofor said this in a statement he issued on Friday morning after his routine visit to Kanu at the Headquarters of the Department of State Services.

He said, “In the course of the visit, our discussions focused primarily on our final preparations for the legal battle that would resume on the turf of the Federal High Court, Abuja Judicial Division, from next week and on subsequent adjourned dates, if any.

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“We coalesced the product of our individual reflections on the most potent legal strategies henceforth to be adopted, fine-tuned and harmonised them, and then distilled them into a single, conclusive, potent, workable formula. We are optimistic that the court outings of Onyendu would be impressive. Onyendu himself is in high spirit.

“Our discussions with him further reassured him and strengthened his determination to persevere unrelentingly. I declare to you, Umuchineke, that Onyendu is fully prepared to appear in court as from January 18 2022. He is rooting for victory and knows that, with the help of Chukwuokike Abiama, victory is assured.

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