President Goodluck Jonathan proscribes Boko Haram and Ansaru, declares them terrorist groups

After postponing the inevitable for more than a year, President Goodluck Jonathan Tuesday finally approved the proscription of the Islamic terrorist groups, Boko Haram and Ansaru, and authorised the gazetting of an order declaring the groups’ activities illegal and acts of terrorism.

The proscriptive order coincided with a statement by the US government Tuesday night that Shekau could be tried in the US, when caught.

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 Ansaru (Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis Sudan), was approved by Jonathan pursuant to Section 2 of the Terrorism Prevention Act, 2011 (As Amended).

A statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President, Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, explained that the Act “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, Abati emphasised, 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”.