The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has confirmed that bandits operating in the country have now been branded terrorists and will now be treated as such.
Speaking in an interview on Channels Television on Wednesday night, he recalled that a court order had been sought and obtained and will soon be gazetted.
Contrary to the assertion that it took too long to declare them terrorists, he explained that as a challenge that kept evolving, the government needed to address the issues as they arose.
Asked how the bandits should be described, he said: “Terrorists. Terrorists within the context of the order granted by the court.”
He added that the appellation is now in force even when the court order has not yet been gazetted.
He added: “With or without the gazette. The gazette is a formal process and it doesn’t take away the legality and effectiveness or the legality of an order of the court.
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“The decision of the court is effective simplicity inherently in its own right without necessarily awaiting the gazetting process, but the gazetting process is part of what is associated with the formality of it.
“So, in effect, with the pronouncement of the court, the incidence of the effect associated with the judgment had taken automatic effect.”
He affirmed that they are now to be treated as terrorists and all the security agencies have the information on the new status.
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On the Electoral Act Amendment Bill now awaiting presidential assent, he said he had not discussed the possibility of signing it into law with President Muhammadu Buhari, assuring that whatever opinion he will give will be guided by public interest.
Malami also said it was too premature for him to share in the opinion that live ammunition was used to quell the #EndSARS protest at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos following the submission of the panel report.