No plea bargain for corruption, terrorism convicts — Nigerian govt.

Oby Ezekwesili
Oby Ezekwesili

The Nigerian government has said there will be no option of plea bargain for anyone facing prosecution for corruption as well as terrorism.

The government also requested a formal appeal for the reinstatement of soldiers jailed for “cowardice” in the fight against Boko Haram.

This was stated, Tuesday, by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, when he met members of Bring Back Our Girls in Abuja.

Mr. Malami emphasised the government’s “strong” commitment to ensuring punishment for offenders.

He said the government would not “allow criminal cases to be compromised”.

“The office of the Attorney General of the Federation will not advocate plea bargain for anyone,” he stressed.

Appeal Reinstament of Soldiers

Led by former Education Minister, Oby Ezekwesili, BBOG called for the immediate reinstatement of soldiers currently serving jail term for cowardice.

The group also asked the Federal Government to make public to Nigerians, the details of the Fact-Finding Committee report on the abduction of the Chibok girls in April, 2014.

In his response, Mr. Malami advised the BBOG group to explore the Freedom of Information Act and make formal request in a letter to the Federal Government.

He assured the group that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration would continue to stand by justice, especially through a newly established national prosecution team set up by the government.

Arraigned before separate General Court Martials, 71 soldiers were accused of criminal conspiracy, conspiracy to commit mutiny, insubordinate behaviour and false accusation.

In January and March 2015, 65 of the soldiers were eventually convicted and condemned to death by facing during squad; give were discharged and acquitted; while one was sentenced to 28-day mail term with hard labour.

However, in December, 2015, military authority commuted the judgement in the case of the condemned soldiers to 10-year jail term.

According to the Army spokesperson, Sani Usman, this followed an order by the Chief of Army, Tukur Buratai, to examine of each of the cases.

The former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, and several others are currently facing investigation and prosecution over alleged diversion of $2.1 arms funds in what is now known as Dasukigate.

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