20 November 2012

Nigeria: Why We Have Not Taken Boko Haram Suspects to Court - IGP

Photo: Vanguard
Boko Haram.

The Inspector General of Police (IGP), M.D Abubakar, has said the lack of an anti-terrorism bill is responsible for the high number of Boko Haram suspects awaiting trial in police cells.

Speaking at a security meeting with commissioners of police (CPs), and zonal police commanders (AIGs) held in Abuja on Tuesday, the IGP said the lack of enabling laws is stalling the prosecution of the suspects.

According to him, "I said we cannot take somebody to court unless there is an enabling law isn't it? And I said anti-terrorism bill has not been passed, and except it is passed, we cannot be able to arraign them before a court."

The IGP added that, "Efforts are being made to ensure that this goes through. It is equally worrisome for us; we want to take them to court and so that we can equally reduce the cases and detentions we have. Because if prosecutions are made and suspects are sent to prison, it will serve as a deterrent to others and we are looking forward to that."

Total suspects held committee

He further explained that, "remember there are other security agencies that are involved in this fight, and some of them too have some number of suspects. And because of that concern and worry, we have just set up a committee, to reconcile all the number of suspects, and arrests made, and as soon as they conclude their work. I can be able to give you the number of suspects that we have in our cell and other cells."

IGP Abubakar also said, "Today's meeting is very key and important in view of the security challenges that we meet on ground. It is a fact that we have made significant and serious progress, in improving safety and security in most parts of the state. But not withstanding there are still challenges in some states particularly states in the north east zone, Yobe, Borno, in particular and some part of north western states, Kaduna, Zamfara, and now Taraba state.

He ordered that, "Every commissioner of Police will go back to his respective command and ensure that there is hitch free Christmas and New Year celebrations, and this entire crisis must stop where ever they happen. Cases of incessant killing must stop; we must be able to phase out cases of kidnapping and armed robbery."

He further said, "We must at the same time checkmate the excesses of the officers and men, we are seeing significant improvement in terms of the mannerism and conduct of our officers and men, but I believe there is room for significant improvement."

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