Federal Govt Prosecutes 109 People over Boko Haram Crisis in Nigeria

Published on Sunday 31st January 2010

The Federal Government says it has so far prosecuted 109 people over the 2009 Boko Haram crisis in Borno state.

The Islamic sect, Boko Haram, in protest against western education, rampaged in August 2009, killing indiscriminately.

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Michael Aondoakaa said at a forum in Abuja that the killings constituted culpable homicide punishable with death.

He said that the culprits were charged with the use of explosives, fire arms and mischief by fire.

Aondoakaa said the body of Attorneys-General had embarked on a renewal of its efforts to improve the process of prosecution.

He said there was also the need for synergy between the office of the attorney general and investigating police officers (IPO).

The minister said that it was not for the police to lock up people when there was no evidence to secure a conviction.

Aondoakaa said the communal and religious crises in Jos and other parts of the north did not arise from the failure of prosecution but from the difficulties associated with prosecution.

"When people sometimes are charged to court, they reconcile and do not come to court to testify.

"As a prosecutor, even when I charge you to court and nobody comes to give evidence, I cannot get a conviction," he noted.

He was happy that the new anti-terrorism Act makes offences, such as murder, kidnapping, hostage taking, and insurrection against the state punishable with life imprisonment. The minister was also happy that the Act grants the Federal and State High courts the jurisdiction to try treason cases.


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