The Senator representing Borno South, Ali Ndume, has stated some repentant Boko Haram insurgents “that have blood on their hands” have to be investigated and prosecuted.
Recall that weeks in the past, the media was agog with stories of repeated surrenders of Boko Haram terrorists to the Nigerian army.
More than 2,000 terrorists had been reported to have surrendered and branded ‘repentant’ by the Army, claiming adherence to worldwide legal guidelines referring to ‘enemies willing to surrender’.
Some Nigerians have kicked in opposition to the de-radicalisation and rehabilitation initiative for the insurgents by the Nigerian military underneath the Safe Corridor programme.
Speaking on Saturday after a gathering with President Muhammadu Buhari, in Abuja, Ndume maintained that the previous insurgents can’t be let off the hook simply because they’ve surrendered.
He stated, “My stance on this has not changed, only that maybe people interpret it the way they want. There is a national law that should guide all these and there is international law that guides this because this is not the first time we’re having this sort of challenge in various countries,” Ndume stated.
“Normally, when you get to war level, you are expected to either defeat the enemy or the enemy surrenders. Once the enemy surrenders, you lose the right of summarily executing him because he is an enemy. You also don’t have the right to summarily declare him innocent and say, oh, you have sinned, go and sin no more.
“What I’m saying initially and I still maintain this position, in as much as we welcome the surrendering of the Boko Haram, it is very important that we follow the due process, according to the law of the land and the international law.
“That is to say, take them in, profile them, process them, investigate them, interrogate them and then those that are innocent, should be let go, and those that have blood on their hands, they should be appropriately prosecuted.
“Once the person surrenders, now, he has an advantage. Once you surrender, you cannot just be summarily convicted, you will be given the right to go to court and declare your innocence or otherwise. That is what I’m asking for.”
Ndume, who can also be the chairman of the Senate committee on the military, had earlier requested the military to not deal with the repentant insurgents with child gloves.