Abuja—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 Adviser (NSA).
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 operations.
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 excessive force.
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 Government.
“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.