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B’Haram sponsors: Naming, shaming must be constitutional –FG

…says no stone’ll be left unturned in prosecution

The Federal Government Wednesday said that no stone will be left unturned in its prosecution of Boko Haram sponsors and fight against terrorism in the country. Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) was quoted to have made this known in an interview with journalists in New York in continuation of the ongoing 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly. According to a statement issued by Malami’s media aide, Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu in Abuja, the Federal Government is taking all steps to ensure a peaceful and prosperous Nigeria adding that Nigerian public will be properly and adequately informed about the investigation and prosecution process at the appropriate milestones as they unfold.

The statement added that the position, as it stands, is that the investigation has reached an advanced stage and the government will make a statement in that direction in due course. Gwandu had quoted Malami saying: “Time is not ripe for holistic disclosures so as not to pre-empt the investigation process.

The prime object remains the attainment of peace and security of our dear nation. “As per as terrorism funding and financing is concerned, we have succeeded in identifying those that are allegedly responsible for funding same and we are blocking the leakages associated with funding while embarking on aggressive investigation that is indeed impacting positively in terms of the fight against terrorism.

“One thing I can tell you for sure is that whatever we do in terms of detention and arrest is indeed backed-up by judicial processes. We have acquired and obtained legitimate court orders taking into consideration the facts and material proof of evidence presented before the court on account of which the court eventually exercises its discretion in terms of granting orders that we can have the suspects in custody pending the conclusion of the investigation.” He further stated that the Federal Government through the Complex Case Group of the Department of Public Prosecution of the Federation in the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice reviewed over one thousand Boko Haram Case files out of which 285 have been filed before the Federal High Court based on prima facie cases of terrorism against them.

“Naming and shaming of suspects is not embarked upon as a policy by the Federal Government out of sheer respect for the constitutional rights of Nigerians relating to presumption of innocence. “It is a product of constitutionalism and the law. It is rooted in the law and the names of the suspects will accordingly be made public at the point of judicial arraignment while the shaming remains a consequence of judicial conviction. “Trials are judicial processes and not about media sensations. Naming and shaming in the Nigerian context must be rooted in constitutionalism. We must strike a balance between constitutional presumption of innocence and evidential proof of reasonable ground for suspicion in making disclosures associated with terrorism funding and financing,” he said.

 

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