The Federal Government would soon resume the mass prosecution of Boko Haram suspects being held in selected military formations, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami has said.
A similar exercise was conducted some years back when the trial was conducted in military facilities in Niger and Borno states.
Malami, who spoke in Abuja on Monday at the special court session to mark the new legal year (2022/2023) of the Federal High Court, said President Muhammadu Buhari has approved funds for the exercise.
“I would like to use this opportunity to appreciate the recent special intervention granted by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, for the provision of funds and other logistics for the commencement of the second phase of prosecutions of boko haram suspects,” the AGF said.
Malami was represented by the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mrs. Beatrice Jedy-Agba, hailed the Judiciary for its contribution to stabilising the nation’s democracy.
He added: “It is my considered advisory that the fast-track innovations that were introduced in the electoral cases should also be extended to certain cases which are of high economic or commercial importance in view of the ripple effects of delay in the conclusion of such cases.”
The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court Justice John Tsoho faulted the National Assembly for amending the Electoral Act without inputs from the Judiciary.
Justice Tsoho expressed reservation that while other arms of government were increasing the workload of the Judiciary without commensurate increase in funding.
“By virtue of Sections 29 (5) and 84(14), of the Act (Electoral Act 2022), exclusive jurisdiction is foisted on the Federal High Court in the hearing and determination of pre-election complaints.
“Linked to that jurisdiction is Section 285(10) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), which provides that such pre-election cases must be concluded within 180 days from the date of filing of the suit.
“This is notwithstanding the judges’ existing ‘high-volume’ dockets that present enormous challenges.
“It is necessary to place on record that the Electoral (Amendment) Act 2022 was enacted without any consultation with the court.
“Also, no support whatsoever was provided to address the increase responsibility. This weighed heavily on the operations of the court,” Justice Tsoho said.