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Falana To Malami: Provide Information On Trial Of 800 Boko Haram Suspects

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Human rights activist, Femi Falana (SAN), has asked the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, to provide information on the charges brought against 800 Boko Haram suspects.

Recall that in April the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) in collaboration with the Department of State Services (DSS), Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) arrested dozens of persons during a nationwide crackdown on the suspected Boko Haram financiers and collaborations.

In a Freedom of Information (FoI) request signed by Samuel Ogala, Falana asked Malami to provide the information of their prosecution within seven days in accordance with the act.

The letter read, “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 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.”

Ige Olugbenga is a fine-grained journalist. He loves the smell of a good lead and has a penchant for finding out something nobody else knows. Gbenga is an alumnus of the prestigious Adekunle Ajasin University, Ondo State and The Polytechnic, Ibadan.