Court Declares “Yan Bindiga”, Others As Terrorists


News Investigators/ A Federal High Court, Abuja has declared the activities of some groups linked to banditry as acts of terrorism.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo gave the order while ruling on an ex-parte motion filed by the Federal Government.

Islamic cleric sheik Gumi had objected to earlier calls to designate the groups as terrorists warning of dire consequences.

But the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) at the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mohammed Abubakar, who filed the motion ex-parte, said President Muhammadu Buhari gave approval for the 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 north-east, north-central and other parts of the country.

The Federal Government said that the group is responsible for the growing cases of “banditry, incessant kidnappings for ransom, kidnapping for marriage, mass abductions of school children and other citizens, cattle rustling and enslavement.

The government also said the group is responsible for 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 north-west and north-central states 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,” it added.

Delivering ruling, 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 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”.

The judge also made an order restraining “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”.

Justice Taiwo then directed the Federal Government to publish the proscription order in the official gazette and two national dailies.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, said the Federal Government’s determination to crush banditry remains unwavering now that the Court has granted the application filed by his Office declaring bandits groups as terrorist organisations.

This is contained in a statement issued by Umar Gwandu, Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Office of the Attorney General of the Federation.

Mr Malami said the court order is a pointer to the commitment of the Federal Government to adhere to the international standards in respecting the rules of engagement in the fight against terrorism, separatists organisations, insurgency and banditry in the country,” he said.

He said by this declaration the Federal Government of Nigeria has taken bold steps to deal ruthlessly with all terrorists groups and their sponsors in efforts to bring lasting solution to the myriad of insecurity challenges in the country.


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