by Peregrino Brimah
In the news, the Nigerian army announced the transfer of a further 43 surrendered Boko Haram terrorists to a “de-radicalization and rehabilitation” camp.
Making the announcement, Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu, Deputy Director, Public Relations Theatre Command, Maiduguri said, “the penitent insurgents will be given a new lease of life as they commence their journey back into the civil society through the de-radicalization and rehabilitation processes.”
This would amount to an amnesty for the terrorists.
However, Nigeria’s constitution is clear: no Nigerian who has killed another innocent being under any circumstances whatsoever is eligible to evade the processes of the courts.
Nigeria’s president and army do not have any constitutional right or authority to create any avenue for amnesty or the pardon of criminals who have raped and murdered.
Furthermore, Nigeria’s anti-terrorism bill as amended clearly stipulates the punishment for terror and the aiding and abetting of such. Boko Haram has been designated a terrorist organisation.
In lieu of the above, an amnesty can only be authorised if deliberated upon by the executive leadership of the nation and assented by the National Assembly. However, such an amnesty can still not pardon any terrorist who has blood on his hands or raped citizens.
The right form of amnesty was given in Algeria after the black decade, as I have highlighted in my past articles, and the amnesty did not include any terrorist who had killed or raped. Even according to religions, only the victims can forgive the killers and rapists of their families and blood money is due.
It would be a gross violation of the laws of God, the Constitution and an impeachable offence in addition to an indictable action under Nigeria’s anti-terrorism laws, if the Buhari presidency in cahoots with the military leadership has formalized an unapproved amnesty for terrorists.
We hereby demand full disclosure on the amnesty for Boko Haram terrorists:
- Who is being pardoned?,
- What type of rehabilitation process is being engaged and
- Was the amnesty authorised by congress?
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