Thursday 22 November 2012
Boko Haram not faceless – Muslim lawyers
Chairman of the Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria (MULAN), Abuja chapter, Barrister Abdullahi Awwal Muhammad, has said that Boko Haram is not a faceless group as Nigerians have been made to believe.
Muhammad stated this yesterday when he led the association on a courtesy visit to the corporate headquarters of Blueprint Newspapers Limited, in Abuja yesterday.
Speaking on a statement by the Inspector-General of Police that insurgency suspects could not be prosecuted since the anti-terrorism bill had not been passed, Muhammad said: “The absence of the anti-terrorism bill is not an excuse for security operatives to incarcerate suspected members without proper trial because this ultimately increases violence in the society.”
“We should learn from other countries and prosecute them immediately they are arrested. As a body, we have handled cases of people who were incarcerated, and I can authoritatively tell you that a lot of them were wrongly arrested as they are not members of the group.
“But we have challenged some of these cases and recently, we made a breakthrough with one of such as a directive has been given that he should be released within 24 hours.”
He, however, said the Inspector-General of Police must be commended, noting that since he came on board, a lot of irregularities associated with the system had been corrected.
“Nevertheless, I want to appeal to the authorities concerned to prosecute suspects immediately, as there are many sections of the law which stipulate that suspects can be brought to trial.
“We call on the federal government to negotiate with them; the authorities know these people and they should talk with them, bring them to court and expose whoever is behind them.”
The chairman had earlier commended the management and staff of the newspaper for “taking the stand of democracy and adequately reflecting the views of the public in your publications,” and assured them of the association’s readiness to partner with the paper.
Earlier, in his remarks, the Executive Director (Operatons), Blueprint Newspapers Limited, Malam Salisu Umar, said, “The newspaper has, within a very short time, prospered because the objective of the paper is to focus on development issues through the practice of professional journalism.
“Our primary objective is to focus on those issues that will bring about growth and development in the country. We are focused on issues that will affect the common man on the street.
“We also strive to connect with our leaders and let them know what is expected of them so that when they come on board they do not forget their mandate and what is expected of them,” he said.
Umar also expressed the desire of the organisation to continue to partner with the lawyers in an effort to achieve the common goal of development.