Renowned legal luminary, Femi Falana, has slammed the Federal Government of Nigeria over its refusal to prosecute the sponsors of terrorism in the country.
Falana made this assertion via a statement issued on Friday, in the aftermath of a devastating terrorist attack on a commuter train in Kaduna which left scores dead while some were abducted.
During the week, the United States of America designated a network of six individuals connected to Boko Haram.
The U.S Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, OFAC, named Abdurrahman Ado Musa, Salihu Yusuf Adamu, Bashir Ali Yusuf, Muhammed Ibrahim Isa, Ibrahim Ali Alhassan, and Surajo Abubakar Muhammad.
It stated that all six were found guilty of establishing a Boko Haram cell in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to raise funds for and provide material assistance to Boko Haram insurgents in Nigeria.
In his statement, Falana implored the Nigerian government to direct the Inspector-General of Police to prosecute all indicted terror suspects.
“No doubt, the deliberate refusal to prosecute arrested sponsors of terrorism and terror suspects has continued to exacerbate terrorism in the country.
“However, as we join the people of Nigeria in condemning the dastardly attack on the Kaduna-Abuja train leading to the barbaric murder of several persons, we are compelled to call on President [Muhammadu] Buhari to direct the Inspector-General of Police to prosecute all indicted terror suspects.
“Furthermore, we urge the President to order an investigation into the claims of the wanton negligence that led to the terrorist attacks,” Falana said.
He further cited various instances where the Attorney-General, Abubakar Malami, had refused to prosecute well-known terrorists who continually commit crimes against the Nigerian state.
“Sometime in August 2019, a gang of 10 soldiers led by an Army Captain ambushed and killed the three police officers who had arrested an alleged kidnap suspect, Bala Hamisu (a.k.a.Wadume) in Jalingo, Taraba State. The cold murder of the police officers was designed to cover up the involvement of the soldiers in the several killings and illegal collection of hundreds of millions of Naira as ransom by the kidnappers who had terrorised the people of Taraba State for about three years.
“The Attorney General deliberately failed to take legal actions or stopped ongoing ones which if they were conclusively handled would have helped to check the terror rate in the country.
“The suspected killer soldiers were charged with terrorism in the Federal High Court by the Nigeria Police Force. But in a complete abuse of his powers under Section 174 of the Constitution, the Attorney- General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami SAN filed a nolle prosequi and withdrew the charges pending against the soldiers at the Federal High Court. They have since been shielded from prosecution without any legal or moral justification.
“In another development, the Attorney-General of the Federation announced, between April and May 2021, that the investigation of the cases of sponsors of terrorism and 800 terror suspects by security forces had been concluded. The minister assured the nation that charges of terrorism would be filed at the Federal High Court against the 1,200 suspects once the industrial action of the striking staff of the Judiciary was called off.
“Even though the industrial action was called off in June last year, the Attorney-General of the Federation has not adduced any reason why the 400 sponsors of terrorism and 800 terror suspects have not been arraigned at the Federal High Court. Thus, the suspects have been shielded from prosecution and exculpated by the Chief Law Officer of the Federation in spite of the overwhelming evidence already assembled against them by the team of investigators,” Falana said.
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