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North-East governors demand transfer of powers to prosecute terrorists to states



Governors from the North-East part of the country on Thursday demanded the transfer of the powers to prosecute terrorists to the state governments.

The governors made the call at the meeting of the North-East Governors’ Forum in Yola, Adamawa.

The meeting was attended by Governors Babagana Zulum (Borno), Ahmadu Fintiri (Adamawa), Bala Mohammed (Bauchi), and Inuwa Yahaya (Gombe).

Yobe and Taraba States were represented at the forum by their deputy governors.

They said the process of prosecuting terrorists which is solely reserved for the Federal Government through the Attorney General of the Federation is cumbersome and should be amended.

In his address at the meeting, Zulum said the governors were in Adamawa to strategise on how to tackle terrorism in the region.

READ ALSO: North East governors meet on security, economy, others

He said: “As we deliberate on the scourge of terrorism and terror groups within the North-East, we need to fashion out ways of facilitating the prosecution of those charged with terrorism activities.

“At the moment, the process is a bit cumbersome as all suspects charged with terrorism and terror-related offenses have to be transferred to Abuja for prosecution, as only the Attorney-General of the Federation has the statutory powers to prosecute terrorists; according to the provisions of the anti-terrorism law.

“We need to obtain prosecutorial fiat from the Attorney-General to enable us to prosecute those charged with terrorism in our respective states, instead of referring them to Abuja.”

He also said the governors would take far-reaching measures to ensure that cases of kidnapping currently recorded in other states in the country do not extend to the North-East.

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