The Federal Government has formally declared bandits operating in much of the northern part of the country as terrorists.
The declaration titled ‘Terrorism (Prevention) Proscription Order Notice, 2021 is contained in Volume 108 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette.
It read in part, “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, the Activities of Yan Bindiga Group, Yan Ta’adda Group and other similar groups in Nigeria are declared to be terrorism 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 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.”
This follows the declaration by the Federal High Court in Abuja that bandits are terrorists after an ex parte motion the Federal Government filed before it through the Ministry of Justice.
Ruling on the motion in November, Justice Taiwo Taiwo declared bandits as terrorists, and further ordered the FG to publish the proscription order in the official gazette as well as in two national dailies.