The Borno State chapter of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has asked the Federal Government to investigate the allegation of sponsorship of Boko Haram levelled against a former governor of the state, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and immediate past Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Azubuike Ihejirika (retd).
An Australian negotiator, Dr Steven Davies, who claimed to have been hired by the federal government, fingered the ex-governor and former COAS as alleged sponsors of the Boko Haram sect.
The state NBA Chairman, Abdulwasiu Alfa, who made this known at a press conference yesterday in Maiduguri, also said that the association would drag the two men before the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Hague if the Federal Government refuses to investigate them, adding that it has assembled more than 50 lawyers who have volunteered to go to ICC to prosecute the case.
“If the Nigerian government fails to thoroughly investigate the duo of Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff and Gen. Iheijirika, we shall mobilize our knowledge, skills and resources to initiate or commence criminal proceedings before the ICC for the heinous crimes committed against humanity by the sect and their sponsors.
“No Nigerian is above the law as justice must not only be seen to be done but must be manifestly seen to be done. Let me assure the good people of Borno State that the NBA, Maiduguri branch, will stand firmly and solidly behind them to ensure that those who made orphans and widows of us are sent to where they belong”, the NBA chairman said.
Alfa said the association will initiate criminal proceedings before the ICC after 21 days should the Federal Government fail to act.
“The Federal Government should act now. If it fails, we shall, after 21 days from today, give effect to our undertaking to initiate criminal proceedings before the office of the chief prosecutor of ICC to investigate these allegations. We strongly believe only a court can declare a person innocent or guilty. This can only be done when such person is properly investigated and possibly arraigned before a court”, he stated.
While commending the Federal Government for the zeal with which it was fighting the Ebola virus disease, the NBA charged the government to deploy same might in the fight against terrorism.