Court declares bandits as terrorists

A Federal High Court in Abuja has outlawed the activities of some groups linked to banditry and declared their activities as acts of terrorism.

In a ruling yesterday, the Abuja 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 Northwest and Northcentral geo-political zones, as “acts of terrorism and illegality”.

It equally proscribed the Yan Bindiga Group and the Yan Ta’adda Group as well as other similar groups in any part of Nigeria, especially in the Northwest and Northcentral geo-political zones, “either in groups or as individuals by whatever names they are called.”

The court restrained “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 ordered the Federal Government to publish the prosecution order in the Official Gazette and two national dailies.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo gave the orders in a ruling after listening to Aminu Kayode Alilu, from the Federal Ministry of Justice, who argued the motion ex-parte filed by the Federal Government to that effect.

Justice Taiwo said he was convinced that such orders were necessary in view of the nefarious activities of bandits and their effects on the people and the nation’s economy.

The judge also proscribed all other groups in the country, irrespective of their names, but whose activities and objectives are similar to those of Yan Bindiga Group and the Yan Ta’adda Group.

Justice Taiwo listed terror activities to “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.”

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