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Court finally proscribes bandit groups, declare them terrorists

The activities of some bandit groups are now banned as a federal high court sitting in Abuja has declared them terrorists.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo declared the activities of Yan Bindiga and Yan Ta’adda bandit groups as acts of terrorism.

It could be recalled that Ahmad Gumi, a self-appointed mediator between the bandits and the federal government, had warned against proscribing the bandits.

In an ex parte motion filed by the federal government through the director of public prosecution (DPP), Mohammed Abubakar at the federal ministry of justice, President Muhammadu Buhari gave approval for his action, of which objective is the proscription of Yan Bindiga and Yan Ta’adda groups and other terrorist groups in the country.

In its supporting affidavits, the federal government said security reports have confirmed that the bandit groups were responsible for the killings, abductions, rapes, kidnappings, and related acts of criminality in the northeast, north-central, and other parts of the country.

The government said the groups are responsible for “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 Northcentral states in Nigeria are being carried out by Yan Bindiga and Yan Ta’adda groups and other groups associated with or engaged in the same or similar activities as Yan Bindiga and Yan Ta’adda groups 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 added.

Delivering ruling on Thursday, 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 asked the federal government to publish the proscription order in the official gazette and two national dailies.

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