The federal government has responded to people’s yellings over insecurity and barbaric act of terrorism again with the explanation why it can’t name sponsors of terrorism until they are tried and found guilty.
Attorney-general of the federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami in a statement released by his spokesperson Umar Gwandu said the decision is a “product of constitutionalism and the law.”
According to him, exposing the names and shaming in the Nigerian context must be rooted in constitutionalism and there must be a balance between constitutional presumption of innocence and evidential proof of reasonable facts and figures for suspicion in making revelations associated with terrorism financing.
The statement read;
“Naming and shaming of suspects is not embarked upon as a policy by the federal government out of sheer respect the constitutional rights of Nigerians relating to presumption of innocence.
“It is a product of constitutionalism and the law. It is rooted in the law and the names of the suspects will accordingly be made public at the point of judicial arraignment while the. Trials are judicial processes and not about media sensations.
“Naming and shaming in the Nigerian context must be rooted in constitutionalism. We must strike a balance between constitutional presumption of innocence and evidential proof of reasonable ground for suspicion in making disclosures associated with terrorism funding and financing.
“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.
“In essence, naming and shaming within the context of Nigerian law are judicial functions which commence with arraignment and terminate with convictions.”
Malami also revealed that 285 out of 1000 Boko Haram case files received by the department of public prosecution, has been filed before the federal high court based on prima facie cases of terrorism.
Stressing that they have succeeded in identifying those that are responsible for funding terrorism, the AGF added that they are blocking the leakages associated with funding and embarking on aggressive investigation that is impacting positively in terms of the fight against terrorism.
“As per 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.
“Investigation is ongoing and for the purpose of investigation, I wouldn’t like to be preemptive in terms of making disclosures that would have the effect of undermining the successes we are recording as far as investigation is concerned.
“But one thing I can tell you for sure is that whatever we do in terms of detention or arrest is indeed backed by judiciary process. We obtained legitimate court orders taking into what we have presented before the court and the court exercised its discretion in terms of granting orders that we can have them in custody, pending the conclusion of investigation.”