Adoke Says More Than 40 Boko Haram Members Convicted
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr
Mohammed Adoke, on Monday said that more than 40 Boko Haram members had
been convicted for terrorism-related crimes.
Adoke made this known at the opening of an International seminar on the
Observance of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law in Internal
Security Operations in Abuja.
The seminar declared opened by President Goodluck Jonathan was cohosted by
the Office Attorney-General and the Office of the National Security
Adoke said the considerable efforts of government had been made possible
through the prosecution of members of the sect under the Terrorism
Prevention Act, 2011 as amended in 2013.
The attorney-general commended the roles of members of the armed forces
and other law enforcement agencies in containing terrorism and other
related crises in the country.
He said the seminar was to sensitise the participants, particularly
members of the armed forces, to comply with relevant human rights and
international humanitarian laws and norms during internal security
Adoke noted that the military had been effective in maintaining law and
order and restoring normalcy to many crises areas in the country.
He said the intervention sometimes attracts negative reactions from
affected communities on accounts of loss of lives and alleged use of
Adoke recalled the incidence in Odi, Bayelsa, and Zaki Biam, Benue, both
in 2001, where damages were awarded against Nigeria in billions of Naira
by the International Criminal Court (ICC)
“Allegations of human rights abuses and non-adherence to applicable rules
of engagement leveled against those involved in quelling crises coupled
with adverse reports from human rights advocates have tended to put the
country on the spotlight in the international community.
“The sad events that occurred in Odi in Bayelsa in 2001 and Zaki Biam in
Benue, also in 2001 led to the award of damages against the Federal
“The court awarded N37 billion against the Federal Government in respect
of Odi incident and N42 billion for the Zaki Biam incident, which was
later negotiated to eight billion naira.
“The unpleasant consequences of the extra-judicial killing of Malam Yusuf
Mohammed, leader of the Boko Haram sect in Borno in 2009, still
reverberate in the polity despite the N100 million compensation that the
courts ordered government to pay to the deceased's family.
“The point being made is that government can ill-afford to bear these huge
financial liabilities in the face of increasing responsibilities and
dwindling resources,'' he said.
Adoke also made reference to the criticism that trailed the deployment of
troops to the trouble North-East states and the Baga incidence in Borno.
He said the civil disturbances in the central, Kaduna, Plateau, the
militancy in the Niger Delta, and the terrorist activities of the Boko
Haram had been under preliminary analysis by the ICC.
“The prosecutor's report of Aug. 5, 2013, established that the Boko Haram
sect was carrying out crimes against humanity as prescribed under Article
7 of the Rome Statute of the ICC, particularly murder and persecution.
“The prosecutor has since proceeded to the admissibility stage of
determining whether Nigeria is `willing and able' to prosecute the
perpetrators of these crimes,'' he said
Adoke, therefore, declared that government would continue to take steps
necessary at discharging its primary responsibilities of ensuring the
security and welfare of the people.
He charged members of the armed forces and other security agencies to
ensure that they discharge their duties within the confine of the laws and
“As Attorney General, I am particularly concerned about the way and manner
members of the armed forces discharge their responsibilities within the
context of our current security challenges.
“I wish to reaffirm government's determination to hold members of the
armed forces as well as other security forces to the highest professional
and ethical standards.
“They must adhere strictly to applicable rules of engagements and eschew
act of impunity.
“I am pleased to observe that relevant human rights and international
humanitarian law norms are mainstreamed in your curriculum and training
“I, therefore, wish to caution that any member of the armed forces found
wanting in the observance of applicable rules of engagement during
internal security operations would be held accountable.
“Military authorities should, therefore, ensure their officers and men are
appropriately sensitised to ensure compliance,'' he said.
The attorney general enjoined the military high command to take steps to
further institutionalise the norms of civil engagement in all their
operations to avoid unpleasant consequences. (NAN)