June 23, 2024

BOKO HARAM: ‘Why only 300 of 50,000 arrested terrorists have been prosecuted’


By Kingsley Omonobi

Following reports that over 50,000 Boko Haram terrorists have been arrested by the Nigerian Army and other security agencies and only about 300 have been prosecuted, Director General of the Nigeria Army Resource Centre, Major General Garba Wahab (retd), has urged the judiciary to expedite judgement on terrorists, saying it is one of the ways through which insecurity can be eradicated in the country.

Wahab, who spoke during a two-day round table discussion in Abuja, themed: ‘Asymmetrical National Security Challenges, the Army, and National Development’, said the judiciary must perform its sacred role of punishing terrorists to deter impunity.

He said: “One of the ways to curb insecurity is that the judiciary must be alive to its responsibilities and the local government authorities should be allowed to function.

“It is regrettable that in a Nigerian court, it will take 20 years for a case to be adjudicated upon and persons who have commited clear and glaring offences get just punishment. That’s what is happening. A former president mentioned it saying It takes 10 years for a simple case of stealing to be decided in Nigeria.”

Wahab insisted that local governments should be allowed to function, pointing out that localising security in the country would also help in curbing crime.

He added: “What we are asking those in government to do is to find a way of ensuring that the judiciary and local government are allowed to function well. When you allow local government to function, then you can localise the security architecture.

“In so doing, insecurity issues will be addressed at the battalion level. We should go to the battalion level because these battalions serve the state and so they relate with the state and local government. We shouldn’t wait till we get to divisional headquarters whenever there is a problem. Divisional headquarters in most cases are busy attending to five or six states.”