Malam Abubakar Malami (SAN), the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, has explained why the federal government sought a court judgment classifying bandits to be terrorists.
The AGF, on the other hand, stated that he was unaware that live ammunition was deployed on #EndSARS demonstrators on October 20, 2021 at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos.
Cattle rustling, kidnapping, and banditry are all linked to Boko Haram activities, according to Malami, who spoke on Channels Television’s “Politics Today” program yesterday night.
“An order has been obtained classifying bandits to be terrorists,” he stated. It didn’t take long for us to brand them terrorists; you know, insecurity in Nigeria has been a challenge that has evolved through time.
”When Boko Haram started, we took immediate step to proscribe them and declare them as terrorists and the order was obtained.
”Cattle rustling, kidnapping and banditry in the Northwest were all part of Boko Haram activities. As you are taking steps to address security challenges, new ones are arising. As new challenges are evolving, we are taking steps to tackle them. Officially with the order of the court, the bandits are terrorist.”
On the shooting at Lekki Tollgate, he said, ”Whether citizens were armed or unarmed, I am not in a position to tell you but the responsibility of the government is to protect life and property of its citizens.
”My decision as to my advice to the president as the attorney-general of the federation will always be predicated on the facts on ground, which will always determine my line of suggestion to the government with clear regard to the interest of justice and the provisions of the 1999 Constitution. It is not about who is involved but about the facts on the ground.
“We should not jump into conclusion as to whether live ammunition were used. Whether the report said so or not, I’m not in a position to ascertain because for whatever it is, you said there was a report and arising from the report, there was a white paper and in the white paper, part of the report was rejected.”
”The report cannot be conclusive in its own right, there are still provisional layers of administrative and judicial process that should be followed before a conclusion can be reached. As far as the report is concerned, it cannot be conclusive in capturing what actually transpired.
”It is premature to jump into conclusion that live ammunition were used on unarmed citizens”, he said.