Following agitations to declare bandits as terrorists, the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, has stated that the Federal Government hasn’t made the declaration, because the government is following international best practices.
He reportedly disclosed this on Tuesday, while speaking on NTA.
According to him, “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.”
He maintained, “With that in mind, Nigeria acted, first by proscribing IPOB, taking into consideration the threats to lives and properties they have caused in the nation. Boko Haram was proscribed.”
The Minister noted, “Now, we are confronted with another threat in the North-West associated with banditry, kidnapping, cattle rustling and in all these, these people are using weapons to attack Nigerians, kidnap them and created a situation of serious security challenge and fear in the system.”
He added, “Whatever military hardware you acquire there are limits within the context of the international convention as to how it can be used when it can be used and against who it can be used. And that is how the idea of looking at the activities of the bandits, cattle rustlers, kidnappers come into being.”
Commenting further, Malami disclosed that, “The gazetting of a court order or judgment is a process but what matters fundamentally within the context of the international convention is the judicial declaration and that has been obtained; the court has declared bandits, kidnappers, cattle rustlers as terrorists.”
He remarked, “So, with or without the gazette, what gives effect to such declaration is a judicial pronouncement but the gazette is a mere formality and it has been on and I believe within a matter of days, it will be concluded.”