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Finally, court declares bandits as terrorists

Bandits, who have causing wanton deaths and carnage across the country, have now officially been declared terrorists by a Nigerian Federal High Court judge in Abuja.

The next step is for the Nigerian government to gazette it, if there is no appeal.

The bandits who are labelled in the Hausa language as Yan Bindiga (gunmen) and Yan Ta’adda (terrorists) were declared as terrorists’ organizations.

Yan Bindiga and Yan Ta’ada are the Hausa terms that describe the kind of acts that bandits are involved with.

They are however not the proper name of any group. Hence, it is not clear why the government chose to apply for the proscription of the Hausa descriptive name of the bandits, and not the English equivalent – bandits.

Besides, Mohammed Abubakar, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) of the Federation, had filed an ex-parte application seeking to proscribe the activities of the Yan Bindiga and the Yan Ta’ada who have been waging a relentless war against ordinary Nigerians in the North-west and the North-central States.

In moving the application on Thursday, Abubakar informed the court that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the proscription of bandits as terrorists.

In his ruling, the judge, Taiwo Taiwo, specifically held that the activities of Yan Bindiga and Yan Ta’adda bandit groups constitute acts of terrorism.

According to court documents, the federal government based its decision on security reports, which confirmed that the bandits were responsible for the “killings, abductions, rapes, kidnappings,” in northern Nigeria.

The government further blamed the group 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 on commuters and wanton destruction of lives and properties in Nigeria, particularly in the North-west and North-central states in Nigeria 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 said.

In the ruling, the judge declared the activities of Yan Bindiga and Yan Ta’adda group” and other similar groups in any part of the country 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.”

In its ruling, 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”.

Written by ExpressDay

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