Following the footsteps of the United States of America Government which placed a $23m million bounty on Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau yesterday, President Goodluck Jonathan has formally approved the proscription of Boko Haram and authorized the gazetting of an order declaring the group’s activities illegal and acts of terrorism.
In statement signed by the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, he said; “The order which has been gazetted as the Terrorism (Prevention) (Proscription Order) Notice 2013 affects both Boko Haram (Jamaatu Ahlis-Sunna Liddaawati Wal Jihad) and another group – Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis Sudan, was approved by President Jonathan pursuant to section 2 0f the Terrorism Prevention Act, 2011 (As Amended).”
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According to Abati; “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”.
Citing sections of the constitutions as its guide, the statement read thus; “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.”
The statement stated that 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.”