We’ve lost interest in anti-corruption war, bring terrorists to speedy justice
By Muhammed Zagga
The trial of the former Chairperson of the Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, cannot be more urgent than the prosecution of hundreds of terrorists and bandits that have been in custody without being charged to court. I’m not carried away by the hype about Maina any longer because, for me, bringing mass murderers to justice is of greater urgency than Maina’s prosecution.
It seems greater priority is being accorded by the Buhari regime to anti-corruption trials than the prosecution of terrorists and bandits. Look at the speed with which a former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, was removed from office and convicted as charged. But the same country is moving sluggishly when it comes to sending terrorists to the gallows or the firing squads.
It’s annoying to see mass murderers being held in custody for months and years without trial. Nigerians are no longer excited by the charade of parading terrorists and bandits on the television. Their speedy trial should be more important than these shows.
Some of the bandits even confessed that they were once arrested and granted bail which gave them the opportunity to rejoin criminality. There can’t be effective deterrence if bandits and terrorists are not speedily sent to the gallows and the firing squads.
Four years is long enough to conclude investigations and commence the prosecution of bandits and terrorists. The seeming lack of will or zeal to give the trial of terrorists and bandits the urgency it deserves creates one disturbing conclusion: crime pays!
This is a country that is incredibly eager to free 600 so-called repentant terrorists and “reluctant” fighters in the name of deradicalisation, rehabilitation and reintegration. This controversial amnesty is like dancing on the graves of the victims of terrorism, including soldiers that were brutally killed by Boko Haram.
Ironically, this is also a country where Senator Ibrahim Geidam is promoting a bill to rehabilitate mass murderers or the so-called repentant terrorists. The North-East region of the country, where Geidam comes from, is brimming with hundreds of refugees and other anguished victims of terrorism.
Rather than lend his hands to the efforts seeking to bring these mass murderers to justice, his priority appears to be to help these peeps become heroes through legislation. This legislation is a betrayal of the victims of terrorism who would have expected their elected representatives to lead the efforts in bringing terrorists to justice. It’s debatable if the policy of amnesty for terrorists has brought Nigeria any closer to defeating Boko Haram. The recent massacre of 43 innocent farmers in cold blood in Borno State by Boko Haram increases my scepticism about the success of the amnesty policy.
You can’t defeat terrorists and bandits through policies that seem like capitulation in disguise. Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State is now regretting wasting N30 million on bandits as protection fees. Despite this heavy expenditure to pacify criminals, the Katsina State Government was receiving bodybags. The bandits refused to disarm or surrender their weapons. If crime attracts such heavy financial rewards, why shouldn’t the bandits continue to kill in order to blackmail state governors for more money? Nigeria’s seeming lack of political will to bring these psychopaths to justice expeditiously gives the impression like we have lost the plot.
Nallah Muhammed Zagga wrote in from