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Boko Haram’s Capacity to Hold Territories Totally Decimated –Says Justice Minister


BALTIMORE, MD (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Nigeria’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami has affirmed that Boko Haram’s capacity to hold territories has been totally decimated.

He made this Monday in his address to the 25th Session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, in Vienna, Austria.

The Session is holding from 23rd to 27th of May.

He said, “the capacity of Boko Haram to hold territory has been totally decimated our focus now is on dealing with the remnants of their forces and re-focusing on the unfortunate humanitarian challenge caused by their activities.”

Malami asserted that the recent successes recorded against Boko Haram are attributable to the new leadership in Nigeria and the recognition of the need for greater international collaboration.

It could be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari has upon assumption of office redoubled the efforts against the terrorist. He moved the operational command to Maiduguri just as the collaboration with Nigeria’s neighbours has been enhanced.

According to the minister, “The recent surge in successes recorded against the Boko Haram sect in the Lake Chad region is attributable, not only to a reinvigorated political leadership in Nigeria, but is also attributable to the fact that we have recognised that greater international collaboration is critical in addressing terrorist activities, including the flow of resources across border to aid their operations.

“In this connection, the decision of the four countries of Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Cameroun and Benin to constitute a Multinational Joint Task Force under a centralised command has been critical in forging a common response against Boko Haram and its allies. It is significant that the capacity of Boko Haram to hold territory has been totally decimated our focus now is on dealing with the remnants of their forces and re-focusing on the unfortunate humanitarian challenge caused by their activities.

Malami assured the global audience that “Nigeria strongly condemns terrorism in all its ramifications as nothing can justify the wanton destruction of innocent lives and properties that we have witnessed in Nigeria and across the globe. Nigeria re-affirms its determination to work in concert with the international community to fight terrorism.

He said further that “We shall continue to review for adoption the National Counter-Terrorism Strategy and the National Security Strategy Document adopted in 2014 to deal with other related emerging crimes.

“At domestic level, we have recognised the need for laws with sufficient deterrence capacity and concurrent respect for human rights to provide the appropriate legal framework to prevent and counter terrorism and its financing. The enactment of the Terrorism Prevention (Amendment) Act 2013, the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 and the Cyber Crime (Prohibition and Prevention) Act 2015 are all recent legislations designed to strengthen the legal framework to fight terrorism. Using these statutes, we have achieved modest success in investigating and prosecuting cases of terrorism within our jurisdiction and benefitted from international collaboration in realising the recorded success.

“In our effort to completely tackle this insurgency, Government intends to tackle inequalities arising from massive unemployment. We intend to emphasize quality technological education for development and lay foundation for comprehensive care of the aged, the disadvantaged and the infirm. The necessary foundation for this initiative has already been laid with 2016 Appropriation Act which in the history of our country is the first to provide specifically for a social welfare regime with an allocation of over two billion dollars.

Corruption, Other Crimes

The Minister noted further that terrorism is by no means the major or the only evil threatening and undermining the well-being of societies around the world. “We equally recognize that Corruption, Cross border financial crimes, Cyber crimes Human trafficking and Proliferation of weapons are all major challenges of the 21st century which the international community must tackle collectively. Let me reaffirm Nigerian government’s unwavering commitment to fight corruption and illicit financial flows. By any consideration, corruption and cross border financial crimes are impediments to development, economic growth, and the realization of the well-being of citizens across the globe.

He said “Nigeria is ready and willing to partner with international agencies and individual countries on a bilateral basis to confront crimes and corruption. In particular, I call upon the global community to urgently redouble efforts towards strengthening the mechanisms for dismantling safe havens for proceeds of corruption and ensuring the return of stolen funds and assets to their countries of origin. These has to be international collaboration establishing clear absence of interest in stolen funds and asset by the safe heavens jurisdiction for proceeds of corruption through ascertained support to countries of origin of the looted funds and asset by way of facilitating the return of the looted funds and asset with case and elimination of bureaucratic legal and judicial bottlenecks.

The Big New Challenge: Human Trafficking

Malami said the world is now facing a big new challenge: human trafficking. He also said the African Continent is grieved by the tragedy which thousands face as they die in the  desert or  drown in the Mediterranean while trying to cross to Europe.

“We condemn in the strongest terms these people traffickers and will support any measures to apprehend and bring them to justice. At the same time, we are very appreciative of European governments notably Italy and Germany, for their understanding and humane treatment of these refugee.

“In dealing with human trafficking, Nigeria established the National Agency for Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP) which is dedicated to combating human trafficking and related crimes. It has made commendable progress in the discharge of its mandate. NAPTIP continues to maintain close collaboration with other Law Enforcement Agencies and the UNODC in the implementation of programs aimed at strengthening our capacity to discharge our obligations under the Convention. Government is also taking measures to address the concerns and weaknesses identified in our Human Trafficking laws.

“Nigeria calls on Member States to consider, among other effective measures within the frame work of their national legislations, criminalizing activities related to all forms and aspects of trafficking in cultural  property and related offences by using a broad definition  that can be applied to all stolen, looted, unlawfully excavated and illicitly exported or imported cultural properties.

“We also invite them to make trafficking in cultural property, including stealing and looting at archaeological and other cultural sites, a serious crime as defined in Article 2 of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, with a view to fully utilizing that convention for the purpose of extensive international cooperation in fighting all forms and aspects of trafficking in cultural property and related offences.

Conflicts Fuelled by Small Arms and Light Weapons

The minister also acknowledged the” dreadful increase in conflicts fuelled by availability of small arms and light weapons. I call upon all member countries to demonstrate the political will needed to uphold the UN Charter. For a start, a robust implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty will guarantee that small arms and light weapons are only legally transferred. Arms traffickers and human traffickers are two evil species which the world community should eradicate.

“Nigeria like other countries is committed to a fair, effective and transparent Criminal Justice System. We are also committed to Independent and impartial Institutions that drive the Criminal Justice System. In line with our strong political will, our Criminal Justice System continues to be under constant review to meet the changing challenging trends in crime prevention and criminal justice and to improve the capacity of Criminal Justice Administrators to prevent, prosecute and punish criminal offenders.

“Our Mutual Legal Assistance regime is currently being reviewed to provide a more secure framework for cooperation with other states in criminal matters, in addition to the implementation of the ECOWAS Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters and ECOWAS Convention on Extradition. Nigeria is also exploring the possibility of using the Transnational Organised Crime (TOC) Convention as a basis for Mutual Legal Assistance and Extradition pending the conclusion of the requisite bilateral agreements.

He affirmed that Nigeria remains undeterred and unflinching in her resolve to support democracy and uphold democratic values, rule of law, good governance and respect for human rights and other fundamental freedoms. To this effect, present administration has reinforced the democratic traditions in Nigeria. These are necessary imperatives to achieve peace, stability and development. “We trust that we shall continue to receive your support in achieving the above objectives,” Malami said


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