Canadian court denies asylum to IPOB member due to ESN membership

Davies Chijioke Chukwudi, a local coordinator for the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has been denied bail in Canada due to his association with the violence-tainted Eastern Security Network (ESN).

The court also cited the 2019 incident in which former deputy senate president Ike Ekweremadu was violently assaulted by IPOB members in Germany, as well as the separatist group’s intention to “forcefully” overthrow the government of Nigeria.

The Canadian Court determined that the separatist organization was not as benign as Chukwudi claimed.

“The documentary evidence demonstrates that IPOB claimed responsibility for the attacks on Nigerian government representatives in Spain and Germany in 2019 and created a militarized group, the Eastern Security Network [ESN], which engages in numerous battles with government forces,” reads the document denying Mr Chukwudi asylum. In conclusion, the IPOB’s actions demonstrate its willingness to use force.

The foreign court stated in another paragraph that IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu had on multiple occasions incited members to engage in violent actions against the Nigerian government in order to achieve the group’s secession goals.

The minister of public safety and emergency preparedness, who was the respondent in the case, refuted the claim, noting that Chukwudi himself relied on multiple Nigerian sources, but considers them “too doubtful and unreliable for the ID.” The Court stated that it was the ID’s prerogative to determine the credibility of the documentary evidence, which it did prior to denying his asylum application.

“The Nigerian climate of corruption and its questionable press freedom does not render all evidence unreliable,” reads the document as the Court cites an article from DW News, a German publication, that reported the clashes between the Nigerian military and ESN.

After meticulously examining all of Chukwudi’s arguments, the Court concluded that it was not persuaded that the Immigration Division (ID) erred in its decision to deny the IPOB member’s asylum application, and therefore dismissed the case.

“In conclusion, I find that the ID could reasonably conclude, based on the documentary evidence before it, that the IPOB used force against the Nigerian government with the intent to overthrow it and obtain Biafra’s secession”

The March 28 document stated, “This Court’s decision is that this application for judicial review is denied without costs.” “The decision reached a reasonable conclusion based on the law and the evidence, and it possesses the necessary qualities of openness, justification, and understandability.”

In the case was listed on the docket as IMM-3479-22, Marie Pierre and Blais Ménard represented Chukwudi, while Lisa Maziade represented the minister.