By Gabriel Atumeyi
The Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, has defended the decision of the government not to name terror sponsors at the moment.
He said this had become imperative in order not to jeopardise investigations.
The AGF said this while addressing journalists in New York, according to a statement by his Spokesman, Umar Gwandu, on Wednesday.
The Federal Government has come under fire in recent days for failing to name terror sponsors despite the assistance given to Nigeria by the United Arab Emirates and other countries.
On Tuesday, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said the government was not interested in naming and shaming suspects but would rather prosecute them.
Reacting to the statement on Tuesday, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to expose those sponsoring terrorism in the country or admit being their associate.
The PDP said such stance from the presidency has justified his suspicion that “the All Progressives Congress (APC) government has been providing official cover for terrorists and bandits pillaging the nation.”
The main opposition described the government stance as unpatriotic and another of the administration growing record of its reluctance to take decisive steps on such a case.
“The PDP holds that the decision of the APC-led government to cover the identity of sponsors of mindless mass killings, maiming, raping, kidnapping of our compatriots as well as the endless violent marauding of our communities under the APC watch, validates our stand that such individuals have connections with the APC.
“This unpatriotic stance by the Buhari Presidency raises serious national anxieties of high-level complicity in the administration and further explains the reported compromising of our security system in the escalated killings and acts of terrorism in our country in the last six years under the APC.
Reacting to the controversy, Malami said the Federal Government of Nigeria had been vigorously and intensively working to leave no stone unturned in the prosecution of Boko Haram financiers and the fight against terrorism in the country.
According to the statement, the position as it stands is that investigation has reached an advanced stage and the government would make a statement in that direction in due course.
He said, “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,”
Malami said whatever the government does in terms of detention and arrest is indeed backed up by judicial processes.
He added that the COVID-19 pandemic and the two-month strike embarked on by the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria earlier in the year affected the proposed prosecution of Boko Haram sponsors.
Malami stated that the 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 reviewed over 1,000 Boko Haram case files out of which 285 have been filed before the Federal High Court based on prima facie cases of terrorism against them.