A human rights advocacy group, the Centre For Basic Rights Protection And Accountability Campaign has urged the Federal Government of Nigeria to declare looters and ‘kidnappers’ of public funds as terrorists just as the Federal Government has declared kidnappers and bandits terrorists.
The National Coordinator of the group, Prince Wiro, who was reacting to a statement credited to the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), that kidnappers have also been declared as terrorists said as much as kidnapping is a very serious crime that deserve severe punishment within the confines of the law, looters and ‘kidnappers’ of public funds have done more harm to the country than kidnappers of persons, hence the need to declare them as terrorists.
Mr Wiro noted that looters and ‘kidnappers’ of public funds have sent so many Nigerians to early grave through their action which deprived citizens of access to dividends of democracy, good governance, quality health system, basic infrastructures etc.
Mr Wiro further said declaring looters as terrorists will reduce the issue of looting public funds by public office holders to As Low As Reasonably Practical and persons aspiring for public office will have it at heart that they are going to serve and not to loot.
Malami had said the recent court declaration had been gazetted and would soon be published. He also disclosed that all the relevant security agencies had been notified.
Malami made this known while appearing on Politics Today, a current affairs programme on Channels Television which our correspondent monitored from Abuja on Wednesday.
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja had on Thursday last week declared bandits as terrorists. Justice Taiwo Taiwo had, in a ruling, declared activities of Yan Bindiga and Yan Ta’adda bandit groups as acts of terrorism.
The ruling had followed an ex parte motion filed by the Director of Public Prosecutions of the Federation, Mohammed Abubakar.
The DPPF had told the court that the ex parte application was filed on the instructions of the President.
On Wednesday, Malami partly said, “It is in the process of being gazetted but the order has been procured and obtained. It is being gazetted and publication will come up very soon. If you kidnap using force, using arms, you are qualified as a terrorist within the dictates and determination and the judicial decision done by the court. You have come within the purview and ambit of the Terrorism Act and you will be accordingly and decisively dealt with.”