Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) has condemned the choice of the Lawyer-Common of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), to take away the names of troopers that had been accused of killing three policemen to free a kidnap kingpin in Taraba State, Bala Hamisu, popularly referred to as Wadume, from the case earlier than the courtroom.
Falana on Sunday faulted the report that the troopers concerned within the incident should first be tried at army courtroom earlier than they may very well be prosecuted within the civil courts.
The Human rights lawyer in its assertion famous that the Common Courtroom Martial lacked jurisdiction to entertain the case of terrorism, which the 10 troopers had been accused of committing in opposition to the slain policemen.
He added that by advantage of Part 287(3) of the Nigerian Structure, Malami was duty-bound to implement the “legitimate and subsisting order” issued by the Federal Excessive Courtroom in Abuja on March 16, 2020, compelling the Chief of Military Workers, Tukur Buratai, to supply the 10 indicted troopers for trial.
The Lawyer-Common has been referred to as out by many Nigerians for eradicating the names of the ten troopers led by Captain Tijjani Balarabe from the case earlier than the courtroom.
Recall that the Inspector-Common of Police, Adamu Mohammed, in February charged the kidnap kingpin, together with the 10 troopers, with numerous offences, together with terrorism, kidnap, gun-running.
Malami, nevertheless, eliminated the names of the troopers as defendants after taking up the case from the police in June.
The AGF whereas talking on the case on July 1, instructed State Home correspondents on the Presidential Villa, Abuja, that there was no plan to protect the troopers from prosecution.
Malami mentioned the troopers “are to undergo the in-house processes” by both dealing with “the court-martial, which is a particular courtroom established by legislation” or “within the various for the army after consummation of the in-house processes, ought to contemplate handing them over for trial.”
Reacting to the AGF’s declare, Falana mentioned: “The offence of terrorism allegedly dedicated by the indicted troopers will not be supplied for within the Armed Forces Act.”
He added, “For the avoidance of doubt, Part 32 of the Terrorism Prevention Act 2011 as amended by the Terrorism Prevention Modification Act 2013 offers that ‘The Federal Excessive Courtroom positioned in any a part of Nigeria, whatever the location the place the offence is dedicated, shall have jurisdiction to (a) strive offences beneath this Act or some other associated enactment; (b) hear and decide proceedings arising beneath this Act’.”
Falana maintained that the indicted troopers had been correctly charged with terrorism together with different suspects on the Federal Excessive Courtroom, “the one competent courtroom within the land.”
He said, “Regardless that the Lawyer-Common withdrew the costs in opposition to the indicted troopers, the order that they’re produced in courtroom for arraignment has not been vacated or quashed both by the trial courtroom or the Courtroom of Attraction.”
“Due to this fact, the Lawyer-Common is duty-bound to make sure full and unconditional compliance with the legitimate and subsisting order of the Federal Excessive Courtroom in accordance with Part 287 (3) of the Structure.”