On the ground that his membership would be at cross purposes with his earlier engagement in the struggle, Lagos lawyer and human rights activist, Chief Femi Falana (SAN) has rejected his appointment by President Goodluck Jonathan as a member of the presidential committee set up to embark on a fact-finding mission into the controversy surrounding the abduction of over 234 school girls in Chibok.
Besides, Falana, who noted in a statement to this effect that the military had, after all, announced last week that the girls would regain their freedom in a matter of days, said, “In the light of the foregoing I regret my inability to accept the appoinment to serve on the Committee to determine the number of the missing girls.”
In the statement titled “Re: Presidential Committee on Abducted Girls,” Falana explained that aside his involvement in the ongoing nationwide demonstrations by protesters who were calling for the release of the schoolgirls from the Boko Haram custody, a committee of concerned Nigerians and parents of the girls had engaged him as their lawyer in the matter pending before the court.
He, however, thanked the federal government for appointing him as a member of the committee “to make recommendations for the release of the 223 students of the Government College, Chibok, Borno State who are still held incommunicado in the illegal custody of a gang of heartless criminals.”
The legal luminary noted: “Apart from my involvement in the ongoing nationwide demonstrations in which protesters are demanding the immediate release of the abducted girls from the custody of the dreaded Boko Haram sect, a committee of concerned Nigerians working with the parents of the girls has engaged my professional services to seek legal redress with a view to compelling the federal government to discharge its duty to the victims of the crime against humanity.
“Furthermore, I have accepted the request to collaborate with an international human rights organisation which is currently mobilising diplomatic and political support for the release of the abducted girls from the captivity of the nihilist forces.”
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