Why FG can’t name, shame Boko Haram financiers – AGF Malami

The federal government Wednesday restated that no stone would be left unturned in its quest to prosecute Boko Haram financiers and the fight against terrorism in the country.

The government also explained reasons it was yet to name and shame the alleged financiers of terrorism in the country.

The list  

Last week, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) listed six Nigerians and 32 other nationals  as  terrorism sponsors.

The Nigerians named are Abdurrahaman Ado Musa, Salihu Yusuf Adamu, Bashir Ali Yusuf, Muhammed Ibrahim Isa, Ibrahim Ali Alhassan and Surajo Abubakar Muhammad.

The report was contained in the state-owned news agency, WAM.

The country said the listed individuals and entities, including their affiliates, were being monitored.

The report read: “The UAE Cabinet has issued Resolution No 83 of 2021, designating 38 individuals and 15 entities on its approved list of persons and organisations supporting terrorism (Local Terrorist List).

“The resolution underscores the UAE’s commitment to target and dismantle networks that finance terrorism and its related activities.

“The resolution demands that regulatory authorities monitor and identify any individuals or entities affiliated with or associated with any financial, commercial or technical relationship and take the necessary measures according to the laws in force in the country in less than 24 hours.”

AGF assures

But Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami (SAN) assured all terrorism sponsors would be brought to justice.

He spoke in an interview with journalists at the ongoing 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, United States of America.

Malami’s media aide, Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, who disclosed this in a statement, also hinted that the government was currently investigating the alleged sponsors with a view to prosecuting them.

He said investigation had reached an advanced stage and a statement in that direction would be made in due course.

The statement reads: “Time is not ripe for holistic disclosures so as not to pre-empt the investigation process. The prime object remains the attainment of peace and security of our dear nation.

“As far as terrorism funding and financing is concerned, we have succeeded in identifying those that are allegedly responsible for funding same and we are blocking the leakages associated with funding while embarking on aggressive investigation that is indeed impacting positively in terms of the fight against terrorism.

“The truth of the matter is that investigation is ongoing and advancing. For the purpose of investigation, I would not like to be pre-emptive in terms of making disclosures that will have effect of undermining the successes we are recording.

“One thing I can tell you for sure is that whatever we do in terms of detention and arrest is indeed backed-up by judicial processes. We have acquired and obtained legitimate court orders, taking into consideration the facts and material proof of evidence presented before the court on account of which the court eventually exercises its discretion in terms of granting orders that we can have the suspects in custody pending the conclusion of the investigation.

“Naming and shaming of suspects is not embarked upon as a policy by the federal government out of sheer respect to the constitutional rights of Nigerians relating to presumption of innocence. It is a product of constitutionalism and the law.

“It is rooted in the law and the names of the suspects will accordingly be made public at the point of judicial arraignment while the shaming remains a consequence of judicial conviction.  Trials are judicial process and not about media sensations.

“Where reasonable grounds are established, suspects must be naturally taken to court at which point their identity must be disclosed and the naming become apparent. Shaming, on the other hand, is the product of conviction at which point the public are equally judicially put on notice.

“In essence naming and shaming within the context of Nigerian law are judicial functions which commence with arraignment and terminate with convictions. Naming and shaming is not unguided and unregulated process. It is not like a discarded ship left at the mercy of winds and tides,” the statement further said.

Review of case files

Blueprint reports that the OAGF is currently reviewing over one thousand Boko Haram case files out of which 285 were  filed before the Federal High Court based on prima facie cases of terrorism against them.

The delay witnessed in prosecution process, according to the AGF, was occasioned by COVID-19 lockdown, Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) strike and court vacation.