FG Set To Resume Prosecution of Boko Haram Suspects

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The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), on Monday said the Federal Government would soon resume the mass prosecution of Boko Haram suspects being held in selected military formations in Nigeria.

A similar exercise had been conducted some years ago when such trial was conducted in military facilities in Niger and Borno states.

According to him, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has approved funds for the exercise.

The AGF, represented by the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Beatrice Jedy-Agba, disclosed this in Abuja during a special court session to mark the new legal year (2022/2023) for the Federal High Court.

He said, “I would like to use this opportunity to appreciate the recent special intervention granted by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, for the provision of funds and other logistics for the commencement of the second phase of prosecutions of Boko Haram suspects.

“It is my considered advisory that the fast-track innovations that were introduced in the electoral cases should also be extended to certain cases which are of high economic or commercial importance because of the ripple effects of delay in the conclusion of such cases.”

The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho faulted the National Assembly for amending the Electoral Act without inputs from the judiciary.

Justice Tsoho said, “It is necessary to place on record that the Electoral (Amendment) Act 2022 was enacted without any consultation with the court.

“Also, no support whatsoever was provided to address the increased responsibility. This weighed heavily on the operations of the court.”

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The Chief Judge, who called for an increase in the number of judges of the Federal High Court, said poor funding was a major constraint to the court’s effective operation.

He said despite the additional burden that the new Electoral Act has placed on the Federal High Court, the court has performed appreciably well in promptly dealing with the total 1838 pre-election cases filed before the court.

“As of today, a total of 1,838 pre-election cases were filed in the court, out of which 1,285 cases have been disposed of, leaving a total of 556 cases pending,” he said.

The representative of the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), expressed concern that election cases were consuming the courts’ time to the detriment of other cases.

(Punch)

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