The North East governors have said there is a need to transfer prosecution right of terrorists to the state governments.
The governors said it is cumbersome for the Attorney General of the Federation to solely prosecute the terrorists, and demanded for the amendment of the process.
The Chairman of the forum and Governor of Borno State, Prof. Babagana Zulum, speaking at the opening of the meeting of the North-East Governors’ Forum in Yola, the Adamawa State capital, on Thursday said, “As we deliberate on the scourge of terrorism and terror groups within the North-East, we need to fashion out ways of facilitating the prosecution of those charged with terrorism activities.
“At the moment, the process is a bit cumbersome as all suspects charged with terrorism and terrorist-related offences have to be transferred to Abuja for prosecution, as only the Attorney-General of the Federation has the statutory powers to prosecute terrorists; according to the provisions of anti-terrorism law.
“We need to obtain prosecutorial fiat from the Attorney-General to enable us to prosecute those charged with terrorism in our respective states, instead of referring them to Abuja.”
He further explained that governors in the region need to take effective measures to ensure incidents of house kidnapping as reported in some states did not extend to the North-East.
Zulum, while acknowledging that the most alarming and worrisome challenge confronting the North-East remains the daunting issue of insecurity with the prolonged Boko Haram crisis, said, “There is, however, an absolute need for us to seriously look into how to stimulate and renew the confidence and trust of our people in the ability of our security forces to contain the palpable threats, being posed by the continued presence of the insurgents.”
“Another frightfully shocking social problem, which unfortunately, is becoming widespread in our sub-region, is that of rape. We must find a way of protecting our women and girls from the intolerable and aggressive demeanour of rapists,” he said.