Breaking: Abuja Court Declares Bandits As Terrorists, Gives New Definition of “Terrorism”

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Yesterday, the fight against banditry and terrorism received legal support.

The activities of some groups linked to banditry have been declared as acts of terrorism by a Federal High Court in Abuja.

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President Muhammadu Buhari also issued a new directive to security agencies, instructing them to reignite the anti-terrorist campaign and rid the country of .

According to the agreement between the Nigerian and US governments, the military has been unable to deploy the Super Tucano planes it purchased from the US to crush the and gunmen in the Northwest and Northcentral.

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The aircraft, which were bought to help fight Boko Haram fighters and members of the Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) in the Northeast, would be used to fight and not  , according to the agreement.

Jonathan Finer, the US Principal Deputy National Security Advisor, said the terms of the agreement during the sale of the 12 fighter jets were explicit at an event attended by the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard.

He was responding to a question about whether Tucano planes could be used to crush secessionists.

The aircraft, according to Finer, are an important security platform.

“We are delighted to strengthen our security cooperation with the Nigerian ,” he said. I believe we made our expectations about where this platform would be used and how it would be used very clear, and we are always raising concerns when we have them, as are all of our security partners around the world.

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The Abuja court declared the activities of the “Yan Bindiga Group” and the “Yan Ta’adda Group,” as well as other similar groups, in any part of the country, particularly in the Northwest and Northcentral geopolitical zones, to be “acts of terrorism and illegality” in a ruling issued yesterday.

It also outlawed the Yan Bindiga and Yan Ta’adda groups, as well as other similar groups, “either in groups or as individuals by whatever names they are called,” in any part of Nigeria, particularly in the Northwest and Northcentral geopolitical zones.

“Any person or group of persons from participating in any manner whatsoever, in any form of activities involving or concerning the prosecution of the Yan Bindiga Group and the Yan Ta’adda Group under any other name or platform, however, called or described,” the court ruled.

The Federal must publish the prosecution order in the Official Gazette and two national dailies, according to the court.

After hearing from Aminu Kayode Alilu of the Federal Ministry of Justice, who argued the motion ex-parte filed by the Federal Government, Justice Taiwo Taiwo issued the orders in a ruling.

In light of the nefarious activities of bandits and their effects on the people and the nation’s economy, Justice Taiwo said he was convinced that such orders were required.

The judge also banned all other groups in the country, regardless of their names, whose activities and goals are similar to those of the Yan Bindiga and Yan Ta’adda groups.

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.”

Mohammed Abubakar, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) at the Federal Ministry of Justice, who filed the ex-parte motion, said President Muhammadu Buhari had given his approval for his action, which has the goal of outlawing the Yan Bindiga and Yan Ta’adda groups, as well as other terrorist groups in the country.

In a supporting affidavit to the ex-parte motion, the federal government explained why it chose to approach the court for the orders.

Security reports have confirmed that bandit groups were responsible for killings, abductions, rapes, kidnappings, and other criminal acts in the Northeast, Northcentral, and other parts of the country, according to the statement.

The Federal Government blamed the groups for an increase in “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, and other forms of sexual violence, attacks and killings in communities and commuters, and wanton destruction of lives and proper property.”

It went on to say that the Yan Bindiga and Yan Ta’adda groups, as well as other similar groups, were responsible for the deaths of soldiers, police officers, and other security agents across the country.

Commercial, educational, and farming activities in the Northwest and Northcentral have been disrupted as a result of the groups’ activities, according to the government.

“The activities of the Yan Bindiga and Yan Ta’adda groups, as well as other similar groups, constitute acts of terrorism that can lead to a breakdown of public order and safety, as well as a threat to Nigeria’s national security and corporate existence,” the statement continued.

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