In obvious distrust of government actions, IPOB accused Nigeria Government of trying to purchase fire arms, firing jets and attack planes from the United States in order to persecute its people. In light of this, the group sued the U.S Secretary of State, Antony Blinken and Defence Secretary, Lloyd Austin, asking them not to grant Nigeria’s request.
IPOB’s complaint which is targeting two of President Joe Biden’s top officials was submitted in a federal court in Washington on Saturday. In the complaint, the group asked a judge to direct Blinken and Austin to block the transfer of six A-29 Super Tucano aircraft to Nigeria’s air force and to seek the return of six that were recently delivered.
According to Tribune newspaper, the Nigerian government ordered the attack and reconnaissance planes to help it tackle an Islamist insurgency in the northeast of the country that has lasted more than a decade and claimed more than 30,000 lives.
The Super Tucano aircraft are equipped with precision-guided amunitions and have been used for counterinsurgency operations in countries from Afghanistan to Colombia.
The case was filed on behalf of IPOB and 10 other unidentified individuals by U.S. constitutional lawyer, Bruce Fein, based in the secessionists’ heartland in southeastern Nigeria. The complaint argued that the plaintiffs reasonably fear that the A-29 Super Tucano aircraft will be used imminently to kill or maim them physically or to destroy their property”.
IPOB has often controversially claimed its movement is peaceful and only seeks to establish an independent nation to defend the Igbo ethnic group against discrimination by the Nigerian government. On the other hand, President Muhammadu Buhari accuses the group of waging a violent campaign against state personnel and assets.
This lawsuit is not unrelated to the arrest of Nnamdi Kanu in June this year. Since his controversial arrest Nnamdi Kanu has remained in detention in Abuja, awaiting the resumption of a treason trial he fled in 2017, but reports revealed that he fled Nigeria in 2017 when his life was attempted by the Nigeria military.
The lawsuit filed by IPOB before the U.S court argued that by allowing Nigeria Government to receive six Super Tucano planes on 21st July this year, Blinken and Austin violated laws that are supposed to shield citizens of foreign sovereigns from harm caused by United States weapons in the hands of security forces guilty of gross human rights violations”.
IPOB’s ultimate objective is peaceful means to obtain a Biafran sovereignty referendum under United Nations auspices,” Fein said by email. Nigeria’s air force is awaiting the arrival of the second batch of aircraft, which is made in the US by Brazil’s Embraer SA and Nevada-based Sierra Nevada Corp, in a deal worth over $593 million.
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