22 November 2012

Nigeria: Senate to IG - You're Ignorant of Terrorism Law

Photo: Vanguard
Boko Haram.

The Senate has blasted the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, for claiming that the prosecution of terror suspects was being hampered by the non-passage of the amended anti-terrorism law by the National Assembly. Abubakar made the claim in Abuja on Tuesday while speaking at a security conference with all command Commissioners of Police and Zonal Assistant Inspectors-General of Police.

But addressing journalists in Abuja yesterday, Senate spokesman, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, said it was surprising that the IG could say there was no law to try terror suspects despite the existence of Terrorism Prevention Bill signed last year by President Goodluck Jonathan last year.

According to Abaribe, there are enough provisions in the Act to fight the war against terrorism.

On whether the Senate observed that the police was hiding under its failure to fight terrorism, Abaribe answered in the affirmative, saying: "Yes, that is what I'm saying because there is a law in place. So, we don't think that should be an excuse."

He added that the Senate had also passed an amendment of the bill on October 17, this year mainly to expand part of its provisions.

Abaribe said: "We find it very difficult to believe that an arm of government would say it does not have a copy of the bill signed by the president over a year ago. There must be something wrong that is going on there.

So, it is not true that we don't have anti-terrorism law. The Senate was very really surprised and flabbergasted that the Inspector-General of Police would say there is no law to prosecute terrorists.

The terrorism prevention Act of 2011 was passed by both chambers of the National Assembly on June 1, 2011 and was transmitted to the president on June 2, 2011 by the clerk to the National Assembly. And to show how important the bill was, the president signed it into law on June 3, 2011.

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