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Igbos in US military drag American to court for calling IPOB terrorist group

Some Nigerians of Igbo descent, in the United States Military, have instituted a legal suit against the Executive Director of the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Baltimore, Ivan Sascha Sheehan, for describing the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, as a terrorist organization.

The group known as American Veterans of Igbo Descent, AVID, dragged Sheehan before the US District Court of Maryland for defaming IPOB in his article published on October 4, 2021, in The Washington Times titled: “US ignores small African terrorist group at its peril.”

AVID, which comprises Igbo men and women who have served in different US militaries, accused Sheehan of conspiring with the Nigerian government against IPOB.

The body instituted a 15-count defamation suit against Sheehan and the University of Baltimore.

The suit was signed by the group’s lawyer, Fah Law group in the US, and was made available to DAILY POST by IPOB’s top counsel, Aloy Ejimakor.

In the suit, AVID also demanded compensation worth thousands of dollars from the accused.

The suit reads partly: “Plaintiff, American Veterans of Igbo Descent(“AVID”)is comprised of Igbo Ethnic men and women who have served in different branches of the United States military.

“All Igbos are Biafrans and widely regarded as members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (“IPOB”), who have been targeted by the Defamatory article as published by the Defendants.

“On or about Monday, October 4, 2021, Defendant Sheehan published in The Washington Times, an “ANALYSIS/OPINION” defamatory article headlined “U/S/ ignores small African terrorist group IPOB at its peril.”

The article contained multiple defamatory falsehoods about IPOB published with ill will and with knowledge of their falsity or with reckless disregard for whether they were true or not.

“Defamatory falsehood number 1 asserted “An African terrorist organization [IPOB] is suing U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken….” IPOB is not a terrorist organization under U.S. law or any law of a foreign country other than Nigeria.

“IPOB’s designation as a terrorist organization in Nigeria was made via a judicial edict with no hearing or due process.

“IPOB opposes violence. It supports independent Biafran sovereignty by peaceful means.

“At present, the Federal Republic of Nigeria is engaged in an ongoing genocide of Biafrans.

“Terrorist organizations employ unlawful violence against civilians to advance political objectives. IPOB does not deserve listing as a foreign terrorist organization by the Secretary of State pursuant to section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act:

“The violent secessionist group in question the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is yet to be designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the US Department of State.”

“IPOB does not engage in politically motivated violence against civilians or non-combatants or otherwise and does not qualify for listing as an FTO under the laws of the United State.”

AVID further urged the court to prevail on Sheehan to pull down all his defamatory article from “all websites or other digital, social media, or hard copy platforms in their control.

“For an injunction requiring Defendants to publish a retraction of the statements found defamatory including a retraction published in The Washington Times.

“For attorneys’ fees and costs incurred by Plaintiffs in this action; and for other and further relief as the Court deems just and proper.”

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