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FG to start treating banditry, terrorism as same crime

By Idowu Abdullahi

The Federal Government has formally declared bandits as terrorists in line with its commitment to exterminate all threats and win the ongoing war against terrorism, saying both banditry and terrorism would henceforth be treated as same crime.

The declaration was coming barely twenty-four hours after the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), explained why the Federal Government was yet to declare bandits as terrorists, saying the delay was to ensure proper procedures were followed in line with global acceptable standards.

He explained that the apex government was yet to designate bandits as terrorist in line with its commitment to meet international best practices with enough evidence to support the new status been designed for the bandits, noting that no efforts would spared in achieving excellence.

It would be recalled also that the Federal High Court in Abuja had on November 26, 2021, granted an ex parte application by the Federal Government to declare gunmen as terrorists.

However, Malami in a gazette he signed and made available to journalists on Wednesday, the apex government proscribed bandit groups in the North as terrorists and maintained that henceforth, bandits will face trial under the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2011.

Also, the document which proscribed the group restrained any person or group of persons from participating in activities of any of the bandit groups.

“Notice is hereby given that by the order of the Federal High Court, Abuja in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/1370/2021 dated 25th November, 2021 as per the schedule to this Notice and Activities of Yan Bindiga Group, Yan Ta`addan Group and other similar groups in Nigeria are declared to be terrorists and illegal in any part of Nigeria, especially in the North-West and North-Central regions of Nigeria and are proscribed pursuant to sections 1 and 2 of the same Terrorism( Prevention) Act 2011.

“Consequently, the general public is hereby warned that any person or group of persons participating in any manner whatsoever in any form of activities involving or concerning the prosecution of the collective intentions or otherwise of the groups referred to in paragraph 1 of this notice will be violating the provisions of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2011 and liable to prosecution,” the gazette read in part.

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