Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Court grants FG request to designate bandits as terrorists

The court’s declaration ended Mr Buhari regime’s reluctance to declare the extremist groups as terrorists despite mounting pressure from political players.

• November 26, 2021
Bandits and President Muhammadu Buhari
Bandits and President Muhammadu Buhari

The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court has declared bandits terrorists. 

The court asked President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime to publish the proscription order in the official gazette and two national dailies.

In a ruling on Friday, Justice Taiwo Taiwo 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 North-Central geopolitical zones, as “acts of terrorism and illegality.”

Mr Taiwo noted that terrorism activities “include, but not limited to banditry, 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.”

The ruling was given after an argument by Aminu Kayode Alilu, from the Federal Ministry of Justice, who argued the motion ex-parte filed by the Federal Government to that effect.

The court’s declaration ended Mr Buhari regime’s reluctance to declare the extremist groups as terrorists despite mounting pressure from political players. 

In October, the defence minister, Bashir Magashi, had said that President Muhammadu Buhari was following due process in declaring marauding bandits as terrorists. Mr Buhari’s media aide Garba Shehu also referred to the bandits terrorising the country, especially the North-West, as terrorists.  

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna had also expressed his displeasure at the reluctance of Mr Buhari’s regime to declare the bandits as terrorists.

Mr El-Rufai noted that just two years after Mr Buhari assumed power, he had requested the regime to declare the bandits as terrorists in several letters.

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