Abubakar Malami, the Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF has explained why President Muhammadu Buhari is yet to designate bandits as terrorists, Top Naija reports.
According to Malami, the Federal Government is yet to proscribe bandits as terrorists due to its regards for international best practices.
Appearing on NTA’s Good Morning Nigeria show, the Minister of Justice said his office was in the process of gazetting a court judgement that the Federal government should declare bandits as terrorists.
The Justice Minister assured that his office was gazetting the process, adding that it would be concluded soon.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Abuja Federal High Court, had in November 2021, declared some bandits terrorists.
The judge had granted an ex parte application by the Federal Government for Yan Bindiga and Yan Ta’adda to be declared as terrorists.
Despite the court’s ruling, the Buhari government was yet to take the necessary actions.
According to Malami: “Government has a responsibility to act but within the context of acting, you equally expected to operate within the confines of international best practices associated with engagement and one of such best practices is that you can only use maximum force on groups, individuals that are declared terrorists and that is where the application of the Terrorism Act comes in place.
“The gazetting of a court order or judgement is a process but what matters fundamentally within the context of international convention is the judicial declaration and that has been obtained; the court has declared bandits, kidnappers, cattle rustlers as terrorists.”
Lately, bandits have been on the prowl in the Northern part of the country.
Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto, Kaduna, and Niger States have suffered from the activities of banditry.
Several students, religious leaders, farmers, commuters have been abducted and killed by these bandits.
Similarly, bandits have raked in millions of naira from ransom collected from their victims. While the victims are released, others are still killed after collecting ransom.
On 11 November 2015, Abubakar was appointed as Minister for Justice and Attorney-General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria thus making him the youngest minister in Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet. On 21 August 2019, he was re-appointed as the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation by President Muhammadu Buhari on 21 August 2019