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'Nowhere Is Safe Any More In Nigeria’—ASCAB Condemns Invasion Of Nigerian Defence Academy By Bandits

The group condemned the Nigerian government for failing to prosecute the sponsors of terrorists

Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond (ASCAB) has condemned the attack by gunmen on the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) in Kaduna.


ASCAB, in a statement signed by its Interim Chair, Femi Falana (SAN), described the attack as an affront on Nigeria’s security, adding that the killing of two soldiers and abduction of a military officer showed that nowhere is safe in Nigeria anymore.


The group condemned the Nigerian government for failing to prosecute the sponsors of terrorists who were recently arrested and interrogated by the State Security Service (SSS), also called the Department of State Services (DSS). 


The statement read, “Since the Boko Haram war began 12 years ago, terrorists have attacked the United Nations Headquarters Office in Abuja, Nigeria Police Force Headquarters in Abuja as well as Police Stations and Correctional Centres in some states. 


“Apart from the destruction of public property, the terrorists killed scores of people and injured many others during the violent attacks. But as the criminal gangs who carried out the dastardly acts were not apprehended and prosecuted they have become emboldened to the extent of attacking military institutions.


“The Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond (ASCAB) strongly condemns last week's invasion of the Nigerian Defence Academy in Kaduna, the brutal killing of two officers and the abduction of another officer by a group of terrorists. By attacking the military institution, the dangerous criminal elements had wanted to prove that nowhere is safe in Nigeria. 


“To prove the criminals wrong the Federal Government should ensure the immediate release of the abducted officer and proceed to arrest the criminal elements who committed the heinous crimes. No doubt, it is the responsibility of the Government to secure the life and property of every person in Nigeria.


“But since the Government has failed to discharge its constitutional responsibility of protecting the people, a number of parents have been compelled to negotiate with terrorists and pay ransom running to hundreds of millions of naira to secure the release of their abducted children.


"The Federal Government should end the shameful practice by adopting adequate measures to secure the unconditional release of students and other victims who are still languishing in the illegal custody of the criminal gangs. Since some well-known civilians regularly negotiate on behalf of the terrorists the Government should have no difficulty in locating the hideouts of the dangerous criminal elements. The government should immediately take control of the monopoly of violence from criminal gangs in order to end the abduction of citizens by terrorists.


“However, ASCAB is sad to note that the Federal Government has refused to prosecute the sponsors of terrorists who were recently arrested and interrogated by the State Security Service. In particular, the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation announced in April this year that arrangements had been concluded for the arraignment of 400 sponsors of terrorists and 800 terror suspects at the Federal High Court. But for reasons best known to the Federal Government the arrested sponsors of terrorism and terror suspects have not been charged with terrorism and allied offences before any Court.


“Other sponsors of terrorism including a few traditional rulers indicted by some state governments have not been brought to book for their alleged involvement in the nefarious enterprise. 


“In the same vein, majority of criminal elements arrested for taking part in the kidnapping, armed robbery, and extrajudicial killing of unarmed citizens in all the States of the Federation have not been prosecuted by the attorneys-general of the respective states. It is such official impunity that has accentuated the violent attacks on innocent people by the so-called bandits and unknown gunmen. In many instances, the suspects were arrested and paraded by the police and other law enforcement agencies but released to continue their criminal activities. For instance, the police and the army have arrested members of the criminal gang that recently killed 22 travellers in Jos, Plateau State. But up till now, the suspects have not been charged with conspiracy and culpable homicide before the High Court of Plateau State.”