Malami speaks on deradicalisation of ex-Boko Haram fighters, says he is not aware people oppose the move
The attorney-general of the federation and minister for justice, Abubakar Malami has stated that he is unaware that there are people opposed to the deradicalisation of persons alleged to have been members of Boko Haram.
Recall that the military in 2016 had launched operation Safe Corridor, an initiative for deradicalisation and rehabilitation of ex-Boko Haram fighters.
Atleast 600 ex-Boko Haram fighters completed a deradicalisation, rehabilitation and reintegration (DDR) programme in July 2020.
Meanwhile, some notable Nigerians including Babagana Zulum, governor of Borno, and Ali Ndume, senator representing Borno south — had kicked against the decision to deradicalise former Boko Haram members.
Babagana Zulum had argued that “repentant” Boko Haram members may end up as spies for insurgents.
Ndume said “they’ll never repent.”
Some Borno residents had also rejected the decision to reintegrate the deradicalised persons into their communities, and asked the federal government to “take them to government house or Aso Rock”.
Speaking on the development in an interview with BBC Hausa on Friday, Malami said successes have been recorded in the prosecution of Boko Haram members, adding that many of those found innocent were deradicalised in line with the policy of the federal government.
“Government came up with the strategy and plan, which is under the office of the national security adviser. Also, I am just learning that there are those opposed to deradicalisation from you,” he said.
“If the law does not find fault in a crime, what is your own opinion of justice? Our strategy in the office of the AGF and ministry of justice works on proven crimes before the right punishment will be applied.
“If a crime is not proven, the law works strongly on the fact that the act has not been committed. I, therefore, do not have a scale to judge against the justice sectors laws.”
Responding to the question of establishing special courts for insurgents, he said the courts are provided by the Constitution and a new role cannot be introduced without amending the Constitution.
He, however, added that the government has come up with a strategy, under the office of the national security adviser to attend to such cases.
Responding to the issue of state governments who grant amnesty to bandits, Malami said, in 2017, he met with attorney-generals of states on the prosecution of bandits.
“As you know, Nigeria has a population of over 200 million scattered across 36 states and the FCT. One of the resolutions that was taken at the end was for state governors to support the adopted measures to tackle insecurity and ensure the dispensation of justice,” he said.
“In 2017, the AGF gave all attorney-generals across Nigeria the right to act and make judgement on his behalf in cases surrounding insecurity. If investigation proves that a crime has been committed, then an attorney-general can represent me in his state to see to it that justice is served.
“Taking cognizance of this opportunity given by the AGF, it is unjust to say that the AGF has made no effort to strengthen the process of prosecuting bandits.”
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