BOKO HARAM: PROSECUTE TERRORISM SUSPECTS NOW; HURIWA CHARGES FG
Twenty four hours after President Goodluck Jonathan celebrated the arrest of significant number of terrorism suspects implicated in the bombings of the Nigeria Police Force Headquarters; the United Nations building in Abuja and the Catholic Church in Madala, near Abuja which killed scores of innocent Nigerians and peaceful Christian worshippers, the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA [HURIWA] has challenged the Federal Government to put these high profile terrorism suspects to effective and efficient prosecution in the competent courts of law making use of the best legal minds that Nigeria can muster through the office of the Federal Attorney General and minister of Justice so as to obtain successful convictions for these grave crimes against humanity just as the Rights group warned the Federal Government not to leave the prosecution of these terrorism suspects to the Nigeria Police Prosecution teams because of the serial incompetence and professional indiscipline among the policing institution that has compromised several high profile prosecutions in the recent times.
In a statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Director Miss. Zainab Yusuf, HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA [HURIWA] said it was wrong and ill-timed for President Jonathan to publicly celebrate the arrest of these high profile terrorism suspects even before they are put to trial in the competent courts of law in compliance with several provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and particularly with sections 6 and 35 of the 1999 constitution as amended. Besides, the Rights group said it makes no meaning for the Federal Government to engage on phantom celebration of high profile arrest when most Nigerians know that the Nigeria Police Prosecution teams have in the past messed up several high profile cases in the court system thereby allowing these high profile crime suspects to escape the long arm of the law because of professional incompetence, corruption and compromise on the part of the prosecution teams drawn from the grossly untrained Nigeria Police Force.
Citing the case of the murder suspects involved in the dastardly assasination of the then serving Federal Attorney General Chief Bola Ige [SAN] who were discharged by the Oyo state High Court following the incompetence of the police prosecution team, HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA [HURIWA] pointedly told President Goodluck Joanthan that posterity will not forgive his government should he allow the prosecution of these high profile deadly terrorism suspects be compromised by the Nigeria Police Prosecution teams.
The Rights group said Nigerians have lost confidence in the ability of the Nigeria Police to professionally and successfully obtain quality convictions in the competent courts of law against these high profile terrorism suspects since even the current Inspector General of Police Mr. Abubakar Mohammed told the media recently that he is unaware of the existence of an extant anti-terrorism law and several other legal provisions against mass murder under which the now detained terrorism suspects can be successfully prosecuted.
HURIWA therefore challenged President Jonathan that rather than play to the gallery by telling Nigerians of some 'phantom victory' of the security forces over the armed Islamic terrrists unleashing waves of violent mass killings across the Nothern Nigeria, the current Government will achieve more by reorganizing the legal mechanism at the highest level under the direct supervision of the Federal Attorney General and minister of Justice to take up the cases of the prosecution of the arrested terrorism suspects and engage the best legal minds to obtain successful conviction making use of carefully and scientifically generated body of evidence against these terrorism suspects. On the alternative, the Rights group asked that the suspects be tried at the International Crimes Court [ICC] to ensure swift, decisive and effective justice delivery.
The Rights group stated thus; "We sincerely hope that rather than regale extremely scared Nigerians with unverifiable and phantom victory over the terrorists by the security agents as revealed by President Jonathan recently with the claim that most high profile terrosism suspects are already arrested, what the Government should do is to ensure that the office of the Federal Attorney General is made to assemble good professional legal minds and internationally reputable investigators to generate scientifically based body of evidence against the terrosism suspects so as to prosecute them successfully in the competent courts of law in compliance with the due process of the law. It makes no sense celebarting the arrest of terrorists and at the end of the day the Federal Government will allow the Nigeria Police Prosecution teams to mess up the cases as are their stock in trade in most high profile cases. The President must deliver social justice to the victims of the several serial bombings and attacks by the armed terrorists that have unleashed grave violence across Northern Nigeria. Those arrested should not be subjected to undue long detention but should be made to face the full weight of the law in line with the principle of the rule of law and due process of the law."