Falana Urges Jonathan To Refer Boko Haram Sponsors To ICC

Femi FalanaLagos lawyer and Human rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to ensure that alleged sponsors of the radical Islamic sect, Boko Haram, are prosecuted.

A Federal Government-appointed international negotiator, Dr. Stephen Davis, had last week revealed the identities of some of the possible sponsors of the sect.

The Federal Government had engaged Davis, an Australian hostage negotiator, to enter into back channel dialogue with the Boko Haram sect for the release of the abducted 219 Chibok school girls.

Falana, in a statement on Sunday, said that to avoid possible manipulation of the investigation of the suspects as revealed by Davis, President Jonathan must refer the suspects to the Special Prosecutor of the international Criminal Court.

He said, “In view of the gravity of the allegations of crimes against humanity committed by the sponsors of the Boko Haram sect, President Jonathan should refer the suspects to the Special Prosecutor of the international Criminal Court.

“Any local investigation conducted by the Federal Governnent in the circumstance maybe manipulated by vested political interests”.

Falana said the disclosure by the Australian negotiator in a well-publicised televised interview in London last week, “was backed with some detailed accounts which confirmed some information in the domain of the security forces in the country”.

He said, “The international negotiator disclosed that a former governor of Borno State, a former chief of army staff and a former top official of the Central Bank of Nigeria have provided funds and other logistics to the body for the terrorist attacks which had claimed the lives of hundreds of innocent people in the country”.

He added, “It would be recalled that the Ambassador Usman Galtimari Committeee on insurgency in the north east zone set up in 2011 by President Jonathan had recommended the prosecution of some politicians who sponsored, funded and used the militia groups that later metamorphosed into Boko Haram.

“In a White Paper issued on the report of the Committee, the Federal Government accepted the recommendation and directed the National Security Adviser to coordinate the investigation of the kingpins and sponsors to unravel the individuals and groups that are involved.

“Although the White Paper was published in May 2012, the directive of the Federal Government has not been carried out up till now because the individuals involved are said to be connected to the Presidency.  However, the special envoy of the Federal Government has just named one of the ‘kingpins and sponsors’ of the terrorist sect”, said Falana.