Abubakar Malami reveals why the Nigerian Government cannot yet name sponsors of Boko Haram terrorists.
According to a statement by his Spokesman, Umar Gwandu, on Wednesday, Malami stated this while addressing journalists in New York, United States.
The AGF was reacting to the public criticism that has trailed the failure of the government to name the sponsors of terrorism in the country after the United Arab Emirates listed the names of 38 sponsors of terrorism, including six Nigerians.
Malami, who disclosed that the government took the decision so as not to endanger investigations, said that the suspects will eventually be made public, adding that “shaming remains a consequence of judicial conviction”.
“Time is not ripe for holistic disclosures so as not to pre-empt the investigation process. The prime object remains the attainment of peace and security of our dear nation.
“As far as terrorism funding and financing is concerned, we have succeeded in identifying those that are allegedly responsible for funding same and we are blocking the leakages associated with funding while embarking on aggressive investigation that is indeed impacting positively in terms of the fight against terrorism.
“The truth of the matter is that investigation is ongoing and advancing. For the purpose of investigation, I would not like to be pre-emptive in terms of making disclosures that will 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.”
Malami added that “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,” the statement reads.
“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. Naming and shaming is not unguided and unregulated process. It is not like a discarded ship left at the mercy of winds and tides.”
KanyiDaily recalls that the United States had offered to partner with Nigeria to identify the sponsors of Boko Haram and those bankrolling terrorism in the country.