Boko Haram: Hand Over Modu Sherrif To ICC Now, Group Urges FG
A Borno-based non-government organisation (NGO), Borno Coalition for Good Governance, has called on the Federal Government to seize all the local and foreign assets of former governor of the state, Ali Modu Sherrif, over allegations that he was a major sponsor of the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East.
This, according to the group, is to prevent the former governor from influencing his proposed prosecution by the International Criminal Court (ICC) over alleged involvement in financing the Boko Haram insurgents.
The group is basing its call on the disclosure by the Australian hostage negotiator, Dr. Stephen Davis, who recently fingered the former governor and former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika (rtd) as the major backers of Boko Haram.
The call came on a day Modu Sherrif made spirited effort at a media briefing to clear his name from Boko Haram as he denied backing the insurgents.
But the NGO, in a statement issued Wednesday and signed by Modu Wulgo and John Ndirbula, the Project Manager and Secretary respectively, insisted that the recent revelation was no surprise to the people of the state.
It maintained that ”confiscating all assets belonging to Ali Modu Sheriff in Nigeria, Dubai, China, India and Chad to avoid interfering with the investigations of the International Criminal Court through financial inducement,” should be the first step.
The statement warned the Federal Government to be careful not to be roped in the alleged crime by Sheriff by quickly handing the former governor, who is now a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, over to the International Criminal Court for an independent investigation and possible prosecution over his alleged role in the funding of Boko Haram.
“The revelations of the Australian hostage negotiator on Ali Modu Sheriff and General Azubuike Ihejirika did not come to us as a surprise. This is because there has been several committees set up by the Federal Government on Boko Haram that has indicted the duo,' the statement said.
According to the group, “Ali Sheriff's eight year rule in Borno State was hell on earth” for the people as his father and wife ganged up to oppress the masses and also looted the treasury.
'It is high time he pays for his crime as he has destroyed so many people and over 15,000 people have lost their lives in the insurgency launched by Boko Haram.”
Maintaining that Sheriff was actually involved in Boko Haram sponsorship as alleged, the group said: “Why did Buji Foi, the late Commissioner for Religious Affairs seek to have audience with Governor Sheriff before he was executed in 2009.'
It added: 'The soldiers honoured the wish of Buji Foi, but on hearing that the late commissioner wanted to see him, Sheriff quickly drove out of Government House, Maiduguri on that fateful day. When the soldiers brought Buji Foi in a Toyota Hilux van in handcuff 20 minutes later, Governor Sheriff was no where to be found.”
The statement asked further: “Why did late Mohammed Yusuf throughout his preaching in 2009 and after his arrest continue to accuse Sheriff of betraying him. This is against the backdrop of the fact that everyone feared Sheriff like an “angel of death” for eight years, but Yusuf openly insulted him and called him “mai cin amana” meaning betrayer. We believe if there is nothing between them, Yusuf would not have the courage to do this.
“Why did Sheriff quickly ask the police to execute Mohammed Yusuf? This is because trying him in a court of law will have unmasked the faces behind the Boko Haram and prevent the tragic situation in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States today.”