The Nigerian Federal Government has finally proscribed banditry in the country, declaring those who are involved in it as terrorists.
In an Official Gazette released today, January 5 , the government stressed that banditry will be dealt with more ruthlessly henceforth.
The gazette is titled: “Terrorism (Prevention) Proscription Order Notice, 2021” on Page A507 -510. It is dated November 29th, 2021 with No. 212 Vol.108.
The Federal Government said that security reports have confirmed that the bandit groups have been responsible for the killings, abductions, rapes, kidnappings and related acts of criminality in the North-East, North-Central and other parts of the country.
The Government said that the group is also responsible for the growing cases of “banditry, incessant kidnappings for ransom, kidnapping for marriage, mass abductions of school children and other citizens, cattle rustling and enslavement.”
The government said that the group is responsible for imprisonment, severe deprivation of physical liberty, 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 North-West and North-Central states in Nigeria.
“The activities of Yan Bindiga and Yan Ta’adda groups and other similar groups constitute acts of terrorism that can lead to a breakdown of public order and safety and is a threat to national security and the corporate existence of Nigeria.”
The government’s Gazette followed the order of the Federal High Court in Abuja which, on November 25, 2021, declared the activities of bandits as acts of terrorism.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo had held that the activities of Yan Bindiga and Yan Ta’adda bandit groups constitute acts of terrorism and illegality.
The Judge also proscribed the activities of the bandits’ groups in any part of Nigeria, “either in groups or as individuals by whatever names they are called.”
Delivering ruling, the court specifically declared the activities of the “Yan Bindiga group” and the “Yan Ta’adda group” and other similar groups in any part of the country, especially in the North-West and the North-Central as “acts of terrorism and illegality.”
The court proscribed the activities of the group as well as other similar groups in any part of Nigeria, “either in groups or as individuals by whatever names they are called.”
The judge also made an order restraining “any person or group of persons from participating in any manner whatsoever, in any form of activities involving or concerning the prosecution of the collective intention or otherwise of the Yan Bindiga group and the Yan Ta’adda group under any other name or platform however called or described”.
Justice Taiwo then directed the Federal Government to publish the proscription order in the official gazette and two national dailies
Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) of the Federation, Mohammed Abubakar, had filed an ex-parte application seeking to proscribe the activities of bandits waging war against Nigerians.
Source: The Star.