The Federal Government moved decisively to stamp out the dreaded Islamists, Boko Haram, as President Goodluck Jonathan has now formally approved the proscription of the group.
The proscription, which makes the group’s activities illegal and acts of terrorism, has been gazette. It comes a day after the United States of America placed a $7 million (N1.1 billion) reward for the arrest of the leader of the dreaded group, Abubakar Shekau
The Islamist terrorist group has carried out deadly bomb attacks in Abuja and some Northern states and is locked in combat with the Nigerian military in the North-East.
Announcing the proscription on Monday, Presidential spokesman, Reuben Abati, said the order, gazetted as the Terrorism (Prevention) (Proscription Order) Notice 2013 affects both the Boko Haram (Jamaatu Ahlis-Sunna Liddaawati Wal Jihad) and another group – Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis Sudan, was approved by president, pursuant to section 2 0f the Terrorism Prevention Act, 2011 (As Amended).
The statement also said that with the development, activities of the said groups, were now officially as acts of terror, and can be prosecuted under the Terrorism Prevention Acts
Monday’s statement read in part: “It officially brings the activities of both groups within the purview of the Terrorism Prevention Act and any persons associated with the two groups can now be legally prosecuted and sentenced to penalties specified in the Act.
“The proscription order warns the general public that any person “participating in any form of activities involving or concerning the collective intentions of the said groups will be violating the provisions of the Terrorism Prevention Act.
“Section 5 (1) of the act prescribes a term of imprisonment of not less than 20 years for any person who knowingly, in any manner, directly or indirectly, solicits or renders support for the commission of an act of terrorism or to a terrorist group.
“For the purposes of subsection (1) of section, “support” includes –
(a) Incitement to commit a terrorist act through the Internet, or any electronic means or through the use of printed materials or through the dissemination of terrorist information;
“(b) receipt or provision of material assistance, weapons including biological, chemical or nuclear weapons, explosives, training, transportation, false documentation or identification to terrorists or terrorist groups;
“(c) receipt or provision of information or moral assistance, including invitation to adhere to a terrorist or terrorist group;
“(d) entering or remaining in a country for the benefit of, or at the direction of or in association with a terrorist group; or
“(e) the provision of, or making available, such financial or other related services prohibited under this Act or as may be prescribed by regulations made pursuant to this Act.”