Former Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso has accused the administration of immediate past president Goodluck Jonathan of not being sincere over its defence of the seized $9.3m and another $5.7m by the South African government.
The governor said the seized sum by the South African government under the guise of procuring arms and ammunition to fight insurgency, contravened established rules and guidelines.
Speaking in Ado-Ekiti, Kwankwaso maintained at the public presentation of two laws — Ekiti Magistrate Court Law 2014 and Administration of Criminal Justice 2014 — by his counterpart from Lagos, Raji Fashola (SAN).
The governor said, “As a former Minister of Defence, I am very conversant with the way and manner, and the due process that is required to procure any arms, ammunition or equipment, there are rules and guidelines. Arms and ammunition are not rice and beans that you can just go to the market and purchase.
“Many of us were concerned when the information filtered in. In fact, we didn’t believe it initially, but along the line, based on the defence of what happened, we realised that it was a bitter truth that such a thing happened: that money of that magnitude in an aircraft flown to another nation, I think so many things have gone wrong. I think it is high time for the Federal Government to sit up to its responsibilities to ensure that things are being done correctly [sic].
“Yes, we need arms and ammunition; yes, we need security in this country, but even under that circumstance, there are rules and guidelines that must be respected.
“While we are trying to tackle insurgency, we must follow the due process. Even in the operation there are rules of engagement; they are very important to protect the lives and properties of innocent people.”
“We Will Find Boko Haram Sponsors,” Northern Governors Assert
Determined to find the sponsors of Boko Haram with a view to prosecuting them, governors of the 19 Northern states on Friday inaugurated a committee.
While inaugurating the committee, Chairman, Northern Governors’ Forum and Governor of Borno State, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, maintained that the days of the deadly sect were numbered putting into consideration the current bombardment of the insurgents by troops.
The governor posited that the committee, which is made up of the attorneys-general and commissioners of justice of the 19 Northern states, was given the mandate to review the criminal justice system in the North.
Shettima said, “The committee should also look at the condemnable activities of the sponsors of the insurgency and come up with legally pragmatic, appropriate and proportionate punishment.
“The committee should also focus specifically on parents, who because of some pittance, sacrifice their children as suicide bombers. Such parents must be made to face the full wrath of the law.
“The committee also has the mandate to carefully analyse the various emergent security challenges confronting the Northern states and determine how best to incorporate them into the penal code for proper and effective administration of justice.
“The establishment of this committee is the direct outcome of one of the resolutions of the last meeting of the Northern States Governors’ Forum held here in Kaduna on September 11, 2015 to the effect that most of the criminal offences currently being perpetrated especially in this part of the country like kidnapping, cattle rustling and inciting religious preaching, inter-alia have either not been adequately covered by the penal code or not at all.
“Therefore it has become a matter of strategic imperative to review the existing criminal justice system in its entirety in order to ensure that it is up to date and consistent with our current situation.
“The Boko Haram insurgency, which has been raging on for the past six years, is one of the many serious security challenges we are experiencing.
“It has been generally agreed that one of the root causes of the insurgency was inciting preaching by the sect which inevitably stoked the violence and culminated in the extremely complicated and unconventional security situation facing this part of the country and in particular the Northeast.”