Monday, October 25, 2021

Boko Haram financiers can only be named, shamed in court: Malami

Mr Malami on Wednesday said that naming and shaming of Boko Haram sponsors are judicial functions that commence with arraignment and end with conviction.

• September 22, 2021
Nigeria's Attorney General, Abubakar Malami
Nigeria’s Attorney General, Abubakar Malami [Photo Credit: The Guardian Nigeria]

Nigeria’s Attorney General Abubakar Malami says financiers of terrorists in the country can only be named and shamed when sufficient indictment has been established against them in a court of law.

His comments corroborate those of President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesman Femi Adesina who had on Monday maintained similar position regarding naming and shaming of Boko Haram sponsors.

Mr Malami on Wednesday said that naming and shaming are judicial functions that commence with  arraignment and end with conviction.  

“Where reasonable grounds are established, suspects must be naturally taken to court at which point their identity must be disclosed and the naming becomes apparent.

Shaming, on the other hand, is the product of conviction at which point the public is equally judicially put on notice,” Mr Malami in a statement by his spokesman Umar Gwandu said.

“In essence, naming and shaming within the context of Nigerian law are judicial functions which commence with arraignment and terminate with convictions,” he added.

Mr Malami said that naming and shaming must be rooted in constitutionalism, adding that a balance must be struck between “constitutional presumption of innocence and evidential proof of reasonable ground for suspicion in making disclosures associated with terrorism funding and financing.”

Assuring that sponsors of terrorism have been identified, the AGF disclosed that Mr Buhari’s regime was working to block leakages associated with funding.

“As far as terrorism funding and financing is concerned, we’ve succeeded in identifying those that are responsible for funding and we are blocking the leakages associated with funding and embarking on aggressive investigation that is impacting positively in terms of the fight against terrorism,” the AGF said.

Mr Adesina on Monday said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime will not name and shame Boko Haram financiers and other sponsors of terrorism in Nigeria.

His comment was met with heavy criticism by Nigerians who felt Mr Buhari was shielding the terrorists that have in the past months worsened the country’s security situations.

In May, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, announced that high-profile Nigerians were financing terrorism in the country.

“In essence, it is indeed true that the government is prosecuting, and it’s indeed initiating processes of prosecuting those high-profile individuals that are found to be financing terrorism.

It is indeed true,” Mr Malami had said.

Contrary to many Nigerians’ expectations, Mr Buhari’s regime failed to reveal the identities of the terrorism financiers.

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