Crime/DefenseLegal/Judiciary

Bandit groups are terrorists – Court

Justice Taiwo Taiwo of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, Nigeria on Friday (today) declared bandit groups as terrorists.

Handing down his ruling in an ex parte motion the Federal Government of Nigeria filed through the Federal Ministry of Justice, Justice Taiwo Taiwo specifically held that activities of Yan Bindiga and Yan Ta’adda bandit groups, constitute acts of terrorism.

It would be recalled that the Nigerian government had in an affidavit it filed in support of the motion, told the court that intelligence reports affirmed that the bandit groups masterminded several killings, abductions, rapes, kidnappings and related acts of criminality in the north-east, north-central and other parts of the country.

The FGN had equally stated 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, 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 North central states in Nigeria.

The Director of Public Prosecution, Abubakar, further told the judge that perturbed by the actions of the bandits, President Muhammadu Buhari approved their proscription as groups.

This prompted the court to grant the motions as prayed by declaring the activities of the “Yan Bindiga group, 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 further outlawed the activities of the groups and other similar groups in any part of Nigeria.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo also issued 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.”

The court also ordered the FG to publish the proscription order in the official gazette as well as in two national dailies.

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