Jonathan Finally Proscribes Boko Haram, Ansaru

Boko HaramPresident Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday officially declared the Boko Haram sect a terrorist organisation and banned its activities.

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 yesterday approved by President Jonathan pursuant to Section 2 of the Terrorism Prevention Act 2011 (As Amended).

By this development, anyone associated with a terrorist group or found to have supported the commission of an act of terrorism, will be sentenced to a minimum of 20 years imprisonment.

This was contained in a statement by the Special Adviser to the president on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati.

According to the statement, the gazette “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.

The presidential spokesman said: “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.”