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BREAKING: Finally, FG declares bandits as terrorists

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Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN)

The Federal Government has declared bandits as terrorists, The PUNCH has learnt.

After weeks of footdragging, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), gazetted a court judgement that ordered the government to declare bandits as terrorists.

States in the North-West geopolitical zone including Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto and Kaduna have been ravaged by banditry in the last year. The nefarious activities of the marauders have also spilt into the North Central and other zones in the country. The bandits have killed hundreds of innocent persons, kidnapped several others including schoolchildren, with some still in their custody, while some are nursing injuries sustained during the attacks.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja on November 25, 2021, had granted an ex parte application by the Federal Government for Yan Bindiga (Hausa word for gunmen) and Yan Ta’adda (Hausa word for terrorists) to be declared as terrorists but the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), did not do so after over a month.

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However, the AGF, in an interview on Tuesday, said his office was in the process of gazetting the court judgement, adding that the process would be concluded in a matter of days.

Also, a document released by Malami’s spokesman, Umar Gwandu, on Wednesday, showed that the AGF office had gazetted the court order.

The document 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 group 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.”

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Insecurity: Amotekun’ll be armed, backed by law — Akeredolu

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GOVERNOR Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State

GOVERNOR Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, yesterday, insisted that state security outfits in the country, backed by law must have access to sophisticated weapons to combat insecurity.

Akeredolu said this during the Passing-Out Parade of Courses 3 and 4 of the State Amotekun Corps in Akure.

His words: “State Security outfits backed by law whether in Western Nigeria, Katsina, Borno, Benue or any Northern state must have access to the same sophisticated weapons that the marauders have. Anything else is a contradiction in terms.

“It is evident that the current internal security framework in the country is ineffectual. The response of the subnationals by setting up their outfits is welcome, necessary, and has become indispensable.

“Everyone must be given the same access to outgun the criminals. Without uniformity nationwide, the threat to the cohesion of the state will continue.

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“The fight back against marauders committing crimes against humanity must allow subnational and regional authorities to have the tools, the most sophisticated weapons available which the marauders already have in abundance.

“Without providing the sub-national security forces to be a counter-balancing force we have a crisis which strikes at the heart of the conception and the definition of the state itself.”

Speaking on the training, the Ondo State governor said: “Those passing out have undergone rigorous training at great expense to the state. The training will not end here it will be continuous.

“However, no amount of training will mask the debilitation of fighting with one arm tied against implacable foes.

“Amotekun must, therefore, be armed and will be armed and be backed by law. Otherwise, the training will be inadequate and we will be placing the lives of these great patriots in danger.

“The key guiding principles which you must adhere to at all times include Spartan discipline, zero-tolerance to bribery and abuse of power, prompt response to distress calls and display of professionalism in the discharge of your duties. No form of misconduct shall be tolerated.”

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Lekki-Epe Expressway: Govt promises speedy work, warns against one-way driving

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Lagos State Government has warned motorists plying Lekki- Epe expressway against driving against the traffic, just as it promises speedy completion of the ongoing rehabilitation and construction of the road.

Aramide Adeyoye, Special Adviser on Works and Infrastructure to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, stated this after an inspection of the phase two of the project from Epe junction to Eleko.

He sought the cooperation of residents and motorists during the project and promised speedy completion of the second phase of the road project, which is about 16 kilometres.

“You will recollect that about two years ago, January 2020, the construction work on the road began after Mr. Governor’s flag off ceremony. The phase 1 which is about 18.5 kilometres was practically 95 per cent completed within the space of one and half years. All the street light poles have arrived and will be fixed very soon.

“Anybody coming from Epe junction down to Eleko will see the whole road transformed. The second phase starts from Eleko to Abraham Adesanya. As we go towards Lagos, the road gets busy, so the methodology we are going to use for this one will be different from the phase 1.

“We have decided to address Awoyaya to Eleko, but in doing this, certain areas are flat. So, we need to raise the road. The reason motorists are having difficulty moving is largely as a result of failure to comply with road signs.

“On my way to this inspection, I saw a lot of people driving one way while some were trying to overtake at a construction zone. This is a bad attitude and our people need to change. We appreciate the traffic management team but they need to do more.

“In this stretch of 16 kilometres from Eleko to Abraham Adesanya, we will have enough discharge points so that this road will last longer. We are having some setbacks due to rainy season but major work will commence by October.

“It is a mechanized process, the contractors have enough equipment and they are well mobilised. They will deliver a kilometre every month. They have demonstrated it before, it is about performance. They have delivered 18 kilometres in 18 months. These 16 kilometres stretch won’t be a big deal.”

On the durability of the road, Aramide said that they are aware of the kind of investment going on around Lekki-Epe axis, and the road is being constructed in such a way that it will stand the test of time.

“We have thought of investment coming to this area, and that is why the kind of pavement here is not the usual flexible one you will find anywhere. We also have provision for weight bridge, so that vehicle on this corridor will know that there is control.”

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Bandits Threaten To Kill Baby, Give Family 48hrs To Pay N50m Ransom

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The bandits who kidnapped three sisters in Kaduna, including a pregnant housewife that gave birth in captivity, have threatened to kill the hostages, including the newborn baby if the family fails to pay N50m ransom within two days.

The three sisters were kidnapped on July 17, 2022, at their family house in the Mando area of the state where they were taking care of their sick mother.

The family of the captives disclosed that they have been able to raise N6.5m out of the ransom demanded.

The victim’s brother, Kabir Yusuf, while speaking with journalists in Kaduna, on behalf of the family, appealed to the government and good-spirited Nigerians to come to their aid, saying, “We have only been able to raise N6.5m, which was rejected by the bandits.

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“I begged my sister’s abductors and told them we have sold everything we have to raise N6.5m, but, they (bandits) rejected it. My sisters lamented to me on Sunday that they were being mistreated, and that the bandit commander wants to leave the camp and may not return until after a while, so we should talk to them. But I told them that we have sold everything we have but what we raised is not tangible and we don’t have anything to sell again. They started crying and I broke down weeping too.

“Now, the disturbing development is that, on Sunday, I pleaded with them to release my sisters and the new baby, that we have only been able to raise N6.5m, but they started insulting me and told me that if we do not bring N50m in the next two days, they will kill my sisters and the new baby.

“We are appealing to the Federal Government, Kaduna state government, charity organisations, philanthropists and well-spirited individuals to assist us in securing their release. We do not want anything to happen to them. If anything happens to them, only God knows what effect it would have on our mother, who is now in a wheelchair because of their abduction.”

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