Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, on Wednesday, in New York, United States of America, advanced reasons why the Federal Government won’t reveal the names of the sponsors of terrorism in Nigeria yet.
Malami argued that naming such persons now would jeopardise ongoing investigations by the nation’s security agencies.
A statement by Malami’s spokesman, Dr Umar Gwandu, said that the AGF stated this while addressing journalists in New York on Wednesday.
Lately, virulent criticisms have continued to trail Federal Government’s failure to disclose the name of persons suspected to be sponsoring terror groups in the country inspite of the assistance rendered in this regard by the United Arab Emirates and other countries.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, had recently said that the Federal Government was only interested in prosecuting terror suspects rather than naming and shaming them.
But Malami in his reaction said the Nigerian government had been working vigorously and intensively to ensure the prosecution of Boko Haram financiers and defeat terrorism in the country.
The statement stressed that investigations of the terror suspects had got to an advanced stage, adding that at the appropriate time government would reveal their identities.
Quoting Malami, the statement read, “Time is not ripe for holistic disclosures so as not to pre-empt the investigation process.
“The prime object remains the attainment of peace and security of our dear nation.
“As per as terrorism funding and financing is concerned, we have succeeded in identifying those that are allegedly responsible for funding same and we are blocking the leakages associated with funding while embarking on aggressive investigation that is indeed impacting positively in terms of the fight against terrorism.
“The truth of the matter is that investigation is ongoing and advancing. For the purpose of investigation, I would not like to be pre-emptive in terms of making disclosures that will have effect of undermining the successes we are recording,”
According to the minister, any action taken by the government regarding the detention and arrest of the terror suspects has the backing of the country’s laws.
Malami, however, blamed the delay in the prosecution of Boko Haram on the COVID-19 pandemic and the two-month strike embarked upon by the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria early this year.
He further disclosed that Federal Government through the Complex Case Group of the Department of Public Prosecution of the Federation in the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has already reviewed the case files of over 1,000 Boko Haram suspects.
But the AGF said 285 of such cases have been filed before the Federal High Court based on prima facie cases of terrorism against them.