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Boko Haram: Senator Ndume cautions FG against secret trial of Bureau De Change operators

Senator representing Borno South in the upper legislative chamber, Ali Ndume, has cautioned the federal government against secret trial of operators of Bureau De Change arrested for providing money for the dreaded terrorist group, Boko Haram.

Last month, the Senior Special Assistant to The President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said the government had arrested some Bureau De Change operators who were facilitating the transfer of money to the terror group.

Mallam Sheu who further disclosed that dozens of persons had been arrested by security agents in an ongoing nationwide crackdown on suspected financiers and collaborators of Boko Haram, said those arrested were being kept in military and DSS facilities in Abuja and other places.

He further hinted that they would be arraigned but not in an open court.

But speaking with journalists at the weekend in Abuja, Senator Ndume who incidentally is the Chairman of, Senate Committee on Army said the government should settle for their open trial.

He maintained that a secret trial would reinforce the wrong narrative that the present administration treats terrorists and their accomplice with kid gloves.

He said: “The Presidency said recently that Nigerians would be shocked if it revealed the identities of those who are sponsoring the Boko Haram insurgents.

“Can you imagine that 400 Bureau De Change operators are the people funding the Boko Haram? When the BDC operators are arrested now, what will the government do with them? The Presidency is already saying their case is confidential. What is confidential about it?

“The Presidency should expose the identities of all the BDC operators so far arrested and carry out their trial in public.

“If any of them is innocent, he should be allowed to go while those found guilty must be made to face the music.

“When I was wrongly accused, I was tried publicly and I was vindicated. The trial lasted six years in an open court. If there are criminal acts linked to anybody, no matter how highly placed, let the evidence be placed before the public, there should be no secret trial.

“Nowadays, criminals are arrested and paraded without further action. Nobody knows what happens to the people who killed 11 soldiers in Benue State recently. What happened to those who beheaded policemen in Cross River State?

“If everyone is doing what he is supposed to do as defined by our Constitution and laws, we would not have these problems. Citizens should expose suspicious movements.”

Reacting to the United States travel advisory to its citizens to be wary of coming to Nigeria, Senator Ndume said the United States was justified to have raised the red flag to alert its citizens on the precarious security situation in Nigeria.

“America has the right to advise its citizens on the issue of security just the same way I won’t advise anybody to travel anyhow within Nigeria. There is no big deal about the American travel advisory to its citizens wishing to come to Nigeria.

“The truth of the matter is that we are facing security challenges that are more intense than the situation before now especially with the new dimensions in addition to the existing ones.

“It is a matter of concern. I am of the view that the security and welfare of the citizens should remain paramount. We need more personnel in the military and security forces with modern equipment to prosecute the war.

“All hands must be on deck. Citizens must provide useful information while the security agents should be adequately empowered with modern weapons to enable them to act fast whenever information is provided.

“I am scared and worried because I don’t have anywhere to run to. Right now I don’t have a visa to any country. Nigeria is the only country that I have that is why I am so passionate about my country.

“I believe so much in this country that is why I don’t travel out for my holidays. I spend all my holidays travelling from one state to another with members of my family. That is why the current security situation is of great concern to me.”


Nigerian Tribune



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