The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) says its American lawyer, Dr. Bruce Fein has filed a lawsuit against his compatriot, American scholar, Dr Ivan Sascha Sheehan following his call on the United States of American government to designate the group as a terrorist organisation.
Sheehan, who is the executive director of the school of public and international affairs at the University of Baltimore, in an opinion article published in The Washington Times on October 4, gave reasons why IPOB should be designated as a terrorist group by the United States.
The American don said, “Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB’s leader, is clearly unconcerned. That he feels no need to even disguise his support of terrorism is worrisome.
“Though IPOB’s principal aim is to restore a breakaway state of Biafra in the southeastern parts of Nigeria, Mr. Kanu’s rhetoric has become increasingly strident, ‘I don’t want peaceful actualization (of Biafra).’
“Mr. Kanu has said through his Radio Biafra channel, used to project threats, instructions, and propaganda into Nigeria from the safety of London, ‘If they don’t (give us Biafra), they will die.’
“Neither does Mr. Kanu make idle threats. The December revelation of IPOB’s 50,000 strong-armed paramilitary wing, the Eastern Security Network (ESN), complete with a Swastika-style flag, marked the end to all pretenses of being a peaceful movement.
“What had been largely unspoken was publicly declared. Since then, violent IPOB attacks on both security personnel and civilians have surged by a terrifying 59%; deaths by 344%.”
He also said tagging the secessionist group with a terror label would “hit IPOB’s wallet hard”, adding that if done, no organisation that uses the US currency would be able to conduct legal transactions with IPOB.
“As soon as the designation is applied, no organization that utilizes US currency would be able to legally conduct transactions with the organization. By cutting off IPOB’s funding, the U.S. would weaken the 50,000 strong paramilitary outfit, and provide Nigeria’s security forces room to train their sights squarely on ISIS-affiliated Boko Haram in the Northeast of the country.
“A terror designation would put a stop to this influence peddling. It would also mean the group could not use the US or its Western allies, like London-based Radio Biafra, to further their cause.
However, IPOB, through a statement by its spokesperson, Emma Powerful, which was obtained by SaharaReporters on Tuesday reacted that Sheehan was paid to write against the Nnamdi Kanu-led group.
It revealed that the American constitutional lawyer, Fein will also address the world on Wednesday on the matter.
It titled the statement ‘Kanu's Lawyer To Address A World Press Conference On Wednesday The 20th Of October 2021 – IPOB.’
The statement read, “The global movement and family of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) ably led by our great leader Mazi Nnamdi KANU, wishes to announce to the general public that our legal luminaries in the US, led by Dr. Bruce Fein, IPOB attorney in USA has taken the corrupt and compromised professor of Baltimore University, Dr. Ivan Sascha Sheehan in USA to court for writing falsehood and junk against the Indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB).
“The compromised Dr. Ivan was paid to write a false and malicious article against IPOB and its leader which was published by Washington Times invariably asking the US State Department to designate a peaceful Self Determination movement like IPOB as a terrorist organisation. The law of America will catch up with him for telling lies against a peaceful movement.
“Our legal team in America led by Bruce Fein has instituted a case against him in a competent US court. This paid agent will testify before the court why he accused IPOB wrongly and who paid him to do the hatchet job.
“We also wish to announce that the IPOB group of lawyers in the zoo led by Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor, will address a world press conference in Abuja tomorrow, Wednesday, 20th October, 2021 between 10am and 11am in the morning. We, therefore, urge members of the public to watch out for the press conference where some burning issues surrounding our Leader's court appearance and the struggle generally will be addressed.”