A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has declared the activities of bandits’ groups as acts of terrorism.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo specifically held that activities of Yan Bindiga and Yan Ta’adda bandit groups, constitute acts of terrorism.
The judge delivered the ruling on Friday, November 26, following an ex parte motion the Federal Government filed through the Federal Ministry of Justice, Aminu Kayode Alilu.
He held that 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 North Central geo-political zones in the country as acts of terrorism and illegality.
The Judge also proscribed all other groups in the country, irrespective of their names, but whose activities and objectives are similar to those of Yan Bindiga Group and the Yan Ta’adda Group.
Justice Taiwo said he was convinced that such orders were necessary in view of the nefarious activities of bandits and their effects on the nation’s life, particularly on the people and its economy.
He noted that the activities of the groups include but are 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,” the Judge stated.
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”.
The court asked the federal government to publish the proscription order in the official gazette and two national dailies.
This comes a few weeks after the Northern Elders asked President Buhari to declare bandits as terrorists if the move will solve the security situation in the country.