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Federal Government wins case filed by IPOB in the United States District Court while also making progress with return of $550 million Abacha loot

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On July 19, 2018, the United States District Court, District of Columbia, U.S.A., dismissed IPOB’s case against Nigerian government officials. The Court dismissed IPOB’s case on 2 grounds – (1) The Court lacks Jurisdiction and (2) The Nigeria Government Officials have foreign-official immunity.

The case was filed by D.C. Attorneys, Fein & DelValle PLLC, representing IPOB while the Attorney General of Nigeria, retained Anthony O. Egbase, (AOE ) Law and Associates to represent the Federal Republic of Nigeria, on behalf of all the Nigerian government officials sued by IPOB.

IPOB sued 16 Nigerian government officials as listed below (Military , The Nigeria police and 2 Governors ), seeking hundreds of millions of dollars. IPOB claimed that the Government officials conspired and agreed to kill Biafran civilians in order to quash Biafra and terrorize the Biafran population. IPOB claimed that the government officials engaged in (extra judicial killings of Biafrans) brutally tortured and killed peaceful protesters during the Biafran Patriots Day parade of May 30, 2017.

The government officials sued are:

• Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai – Chief of Staff of the Nigerian Army,

• Lawal Musa Daura – Director General of the Nigerian State Security Service,

• Major General Ibrahim Attahiru – Commander of the 82nd Division of the Nigerian Army,

• Major M.I. Ibrahim – Commander of the Nigerian Military Police in Onitsha and Abia State, Nigeria,

• Lieutenant Colonel Kasim Umar Sidi – Commander of the 144th Battalion of the Nigerian Army,

• Colonel Issah Maigari Abdullahi – Commander of the 302 Artillery Regime of the Nigerian Army and the Onitsha Military Cantonment in Anambra State, Nigeria,

• Solomon Arase – Inspector General of the Nigerian Police Force (until his retirement on June 21, 2016),

• Ibrahim Kpotun Idris – Inspector General of the Nigerian Police Force (Arase’s successor),

• Okezie Victor Ikpeazu – Governor of Abia State, Nigeria,

• Willie Obiano – Governor of Anambra State, Nigeria,

• Habila Hosea – Commissioner of the Nigerian Police Command for Abia State, Nigeria during the alleged attacks (now the Deputy Inspector General of the Nigerian Police Force),

• Peter Nwagbara – Assistant Commissioner of the Nigerian Police Command for Abia State, Nigeria,

• James Oshim Nwafor – Chief Superintendent of Police and Officer-in-Charge of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigerian Police Command for Anambra State, Nigeria,

• Hassan Karma – Commissioner of the Nigerian Police Command for Anambra State, Nigeria,

• Bassey Abang – Chief Superintendent of Police and Officer-in-Charge of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad for Anambra State, Nigeria,

• Johnson Babatunde Kokomo – Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operations in Anambra State, Nigeria

The United States District Court has yet again ruled to dismiss another case against Nigeria. Court records shows that in Feb, 2017, the United States District Court also dismissed the lawsuit that sought to derail the United States return of the $550 Abacha loot to Nigeria. (Godson M. Nnaka,v.Federal Republic Of Nigeria and AG Malami; Case 1:16-cv-01400-JDB). Everyone would recall that on September 9, 2016, and January 12, 2017, Premium Times reported that Nigeria may lose substantial part of the $550M Abacha loot to the lawyers because of the lawsuit filed against Nigeria in the United Stated District Court. In August, 2016, Texas based Attorney Godson Nnaka sued Nigeria and AG Malami seeking that he and his lawyers be paid 40% from the $550 Million Abacha loot. Like in the IPOB case, the United States District Court also dismissed that case against Nigeria.
Federal Government wins case filed by IPOB in the United States District Court while also making progress with return of $550 million Abacha loot

The law firm of Anthony O. Egbase, (AOE) Law and Associates also represented Nigeria in that lawsuit. Contrary to prior criticisms, AG Malami has received several commendations from Nigerians globally as well as the international community for engaging Nigerian/U.S. based Lawyer Anthony O. Egbase, (AOE) Law and Associates to represent Nigeria in these lawsuits, even though his decision attracted some earlier criticisms.

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