BREAKING: FG declares bandits as terrorists
The Nigerian government on Wednesday finally declared bandits as terrorists weeks after a court had ruled that they should be proscribed.
Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), gazetted a court judgement that ordered the government to declare bandits as terrorists.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja on November 25, 2021, had granted an ex parte application by the Federal Government for Yan Bindiga (Hausa word for gunmen) and Yan Ta’adda (Hausa word for terrorists) to be declared as terrorists but the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has not done so over a month after.
States in the North-West geopolitical zone including Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto and Kaduna have been ravaged by banditry in the last year. The nefarious activities of the marauders have also spilt into the North Central and other zones in the country.
The bandits have killed hundreds of innocent persons, kidnapped several others including schoolchildren, with some still in their custody, while some are nursing injuries sustained during the attacks.
Mohammed Abubakar, Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) of the Federal Ministry of Justice, who filed the motion ex-parte on behalf of the Nigerian government said President Muhammadu Buhari approved the decision to approach the court.
He noted that it was important to proscribe Yan Bindiga and Yan Ta’adda groups and other terrorist groups in the country.
The federal government submitted in an affidavit that security reports have confirmed that the bandit groups were responsible for the killings, abductions, rapes, kidnappings and related acts of criminality in the north-east, north-central and other parts of the country.
It added that the groups were responsible for the growing cases of “banditry, incessant kidnappings for ransom, kidnapping for marriage, mass abductions of school children and other citizens, cattle rustling, enslavement, imprisonment, severe deprivation of physical liberty.
Other accusations leveled against the groups include torture, rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, other forms of sexual violence, attacks and killings in communities and commuters and wanton destruction of lives and properties in Nigeria, particularly in the Northwest and Northcentral states.