Over a month after the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja proscribed bandit groups as terrorists, the Federal Government, on Wednesday, officially gazetted the court order.
The process was perfected by the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami(SAN).
The document, a copy of which was sighted by Vanguard, specifically warned the general public 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 for prosecution.”
Government stressed that the Notice, “shall be cute as Terrorism (Prevention) Proscription Order Notice 2021”, based on orders of the high court in suit No. FHC/Abj/ CS/1370/2021.
It will be recalled that the court had, in a ruling Justice Taiwo Taiwo delivered on November 25, 2021 specifically held that activities of Yan Bindiga and Yan Ta’adda bandit groups, constitute acts of terrorism.
The ruling followed an ex parte motion the Federal Government filed through the Federal Ministry of Justice.
The motion was moved by the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, Mohammed Abubakar.
FG had in an affidavit it filed in support of the motion, told the court that intelligence reports affirmed that the bandit groups masterminded several killings, abductions, rapes, kidnappings and related acts of criminality in the north-east, north-central and other parts of the country.
After he had listened to the government lawyer, Justice Taiwo accordingly granted the motions as prayed by declaring the activities of the “Yan Bindiga group, 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 outlawed the activities of the groups and other similar groups in any part of Nigeria, “either in groups or as individuals by whatever names they are called”.
Justice Taiwo ordered the Federal Government to publish the proscription order in the official gazette as well as in two national dailies.