Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana SAN at the weekend demanded a time frame from the Attorney General of the Federation(AGF), Abubakar Malami SAN, for the prosecution of over 800 terror suspects belonging to the Boko Haram that were arrested by Nigeria’s security forces.
Falana’s request is coming on the heels of Federal government’s prosecution of IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, and the hounding of Yoruba Nation activist, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, alias Sunday Igboho. Nigerians have accused the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration of double standards in dealing with dissidents from different parts of the country.
In a letter Falana addressed to the AGF, and signed by Sam Ogala, the human rights lawyer gave Malami a seven day ultimatum to furnish his office how government intends to go about the prosecution of the terror suspects.
The letter reads:
REQUEST FOR INFORMATION ON PROSECUTION OF ARRESTED 800 BOKO HARAM SUSPECTS
The above subject matter refers.
In November 2020, the Governors of the North East Region applied to prosecute Boko Haram suspects who were arrested and held in detention by the security forces. The application was made on the ground that the process of prosecuting terrorists, which was solely reserved for the Attorney General of the Federation was unnecessarily unwieldy. Nonetheless, the application was not granted.
In April, 2021, the Governors expressed their reservations over the delay in the trial of the terror suspects, demanding for a prosecutorial power from the Attorney General of the Federation to enable their respective State Governments to prosecute the detained Boko Haram suspects. The request was also rejected.
However, by May 2021, the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation was widely reported in the print and electronic media to the effect that the Federal Government had concluded arrangements to prosecute about 800 suspects linked to the Islamic terrorist group, Boko Haram, as soon as the industrial action embarked upon by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) was called off.
In the light of the above, we request that our law firm be furnished with information with respect to when these Boko Haram suspects would be arraigned in court, since the strike by JUSUN has since been called off.
Kindly ensure that we are furnished with the requested information within 7 days of the receipt of this letter in accordance with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.
Honorable Minister, whilst we anticipate your expeditious consideration of this application, please do accept the assurances of our esteemed regards.
PP: Falana & Falana’s Chambers
SAM OGALA, ESQ