Former Senate Leader, Ali Ndume (APC-Borno South) has warned the Federal Government against carrying out a secret trial of Bureau de Change (BDC) operators arrested for allegedly funding Boko Haram terrorists.
Naija News recalls that dozens of persons have been arrested by security agents in a nationwide crackdown on suspected financiers and collaborators of Boko Haram and other criminal groups.
It was gathered that the operation was led by a top intelligence officer, with an army general leading a task team comprising military personnel and staff from intelligence services.
A source stated that an initial list of 957 suspects comprising bureau de change operators, gold miners and sellers, and other businessmen is being acted upon.
In Kano, a major focus for the operation, traders at the foreign exchange open market in Wapa, Fagge Local Government, were picked up on March 9, 15th and 16th.
Prominent among the BDC operators arrested in the state include Baba Usaini, Abubakar Yellow (Amfani), Yusuf Ali Yusuf (Babangida), Ibrahim Shani, Auwal Fagge, and a gold dealer, Muhammad Lawan Sani.
Four of the arrested BDC operators were related to two persons jailed in Dubai last year on similar charges.
Speaking to newsmen in Abuja on Sunday, Ndume, who is the Senate Chairman on Nigeria Army, urged the government to expose the identities of all the BDC operators so far arrested and try them in public.
He said: “The Presidency said recently that Nigerians would be shocked if it revealed the identities of those who are sponsoring the Boko Haram insurgents. Can you imagine that 400 Bureau De Change operators are the people funding the Boko Haram? When the BDC operators are arrested now, what will the government do with them? The presidency is already saying their case is confidential. What is confidential about it?
“The Presidency should expose the identities of all the BDC operators so far arrested and carry out their trial in public. If any of them is innocent, he should be allowed to go while those found guilty must be made to face the music.
“When I was wrongly accused, I was tried publicly and I was vindicated. The trial lasted six years in an open court. If there is any criminal act linked to anybody, no matter how highly placed, let the evidence be placed before the public, there should be no secret trial.
“Nowadays, criminals are arrested and paraded without further action. Nobody knows what happens to the people who killed 11 soldiers in Benue State recently? What happened to those who beheaded policemen in Cross River State?
“If everyone is doing what he’s supposed to do as defined by our constitution and laws, we would not have these problems. Citizens should expose suspicious movements.”
On travel advisory by the US government to its citizens planning to travel to Nigeria, Ndume said, “America has the right to advise its citizens on the issue of security just the same way I won’t advise anybody to travel anyhow within Nigeria.
“There’s no big deal about the American travel advisory to its citizens wishing to come to Nigeria.
“The truth of the matter is that we are facing security challenges that is more intense than the situation before now especially with the new dimensions in addition to the existing ones. It is a matter of concern.”
Source: Naija News