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Court designates bandit groups as terrorists

The operations of the Yan Bindiga and Yan Ta’adda bandit organizations have been branded acts of terrorism by a federal high court in Abuja.

The presiding judge, Taiwo Taiwo, issued the order in response to the federal government’s ex parte motion.

Director of public prosecutions (DPP) at the federal ministry of justice, Mohammed Abubakar, who filed the ex-parte motion, stated that President Muhammadu Buhari approved of his action, the purpose of which is to proscribe the Yan Bindiga and Yan Ta’adda groups, as well as other terrorist organizations operating in the country.

The federal government stated in its supporting affidavits that security records confirmed those bandit organisations were responsible for killings, abductions, rapes, kidnappings, and other acts of criminality throughout the country’s north-east, north-central, and other regions.

It allged that the group was also responsible for an increase in “banditry, kidnapping for marriage, mass abductions of school children, torture, rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution, forced pregnancy, and other forms of sexual violence.

The judge also issued an injunction prohibiting “any person or group of persons from engaging 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.”

In response to the ruling, the attorney-general of the federation, Abubakar Malami, said in a statement on Friday that the verdict was confirmation that the federal government was taking the necessary steps to end banditry.

Writing, Editing by Saadatu Albashir