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SERAP Asks Lawan To Drop Bill To Give ‘Repentant Terrorists’ Foreign Education

 

Socio-Financial Rights and Accountability Venture (SERAP) has despatched an open letter to the Senate President Dr Ahmad Lawan, urging him to make use of his management place to “make sure that the invoice that might enable ‘repentant Boko Haram terrorists’ alternatives to entry public funds to get pleasure from international training is straight away dropped.

SERAP additionally requested the Senate President to sponsor payments that might guarantee entry to justice and reparation for the victims of Boko Haram terrorist group.

In response to SERAP, “the invoice, which has handed the primary studying on the Senate would give alternatives to ‘repentant terrorists’ to obtain international training together with by accessing funds from the Common Primary Schooling Fee, the Tertiary Schooling Belief Fund and subventions from the federal government.”

Within the letter dated 28 February 2020 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the group mentioned: “This bill erodes justice and makes a mockery of the suffering of victims, and the unspeakable human tragedy, humanitarian crisis and appalling atrocities committed by the Boko Haram terrorist group.”

SERAP mentioned: “By calling Boko Haram members ‘ex-agitators’, the bill mocks the victims of appalling atrocities committed by the terrorist group, and is a blatant affront to victims’ dignity. ‘Repentant Boko Haram terrorists’ are not ‘ex-agitators’; they are terrorists under Nigerian and international laws.”

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In response to SERAP: “Boko Haram members should not be allowed to enjoy foreign education while over 13 million Nigerian children of school age are roaming our streets. Alleged perpetrators of gross violations should not get the benefits at the expense of these and other deserving children. Rather than allowing perpetrators to access public funds to enjoy foreign education, the Senate should be promoting reparation for victims, to prevent future criminality and ensure the best interest of justice.”

SERAP additionally mentioned: “Should the Senate go-ahead to pass the bill, and should the bill be supported by the House of Representatives and assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari, the Registered Trustees of SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions nationally and internationally to challenge the legality of any such law and ensure that it is never implemented.”

The letter learn, partially: “Prioritising the education of Boko Haram members over the rights of Nigerian children to quality education is discriminatory, as it violates Nigerian constitutional provisions, international and regional human rights obligations, and will undermine national development.”

“This bill serves neither justice nor the public interest. The bill also does not represent value for money for Nigerian taxpayers, especially coming from an institution whose individual member reportedly takes home about N182 million yearly, translating to N15.1 million monthly or N45.3 million quarterly.”

“Internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in many parts of the country are in shambles, with people lacking access to basic necessities like food, clothing and children of victims lacking access to basic education.”

“Without justice, the seeds of future criminality and militant terrorism will grow. This bill, if passed, would only lead to more terrorism and suffering.”

“The Senate should focus on passing bills that would ensure access of victims to effective remedies including adequate reparation, and effective prosecution of ‘repentant Boko Haram members’ rather than rewarding them with opportunities to study abroad.”

“Prioritising alleged perpetrators’ rights at the expense of the victims’ rights, interests and needs is discriminatory, illegal and unconstitutional, as it amounts to ‘re-victimization’. While the alleged ‘repentant Boko Haram terrorists have the right to an impartial and fair trial, they have absolutely no right to enjoy foreign education.”

“Pursuing accountability of perpetrators would also show that Nigerian authorities will take action against those who commit gross human rights violations against their own people.”

“In proposing bills to respond to the atrocities committed by the Boko Haram terrorist group, the Senate should ensure strict adherence to the 1999 Nigerian Constitution (as amended) and Nigeria’s international human rights obligations and commitments, including the 1985 United Nations Declaration of the Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power, which provides for the basic standards for victims treatment.”

“The Boko Haram terrorist group has committed numerous human rights atrocities against the Nigerian people. By prioritising prosecution of alleged perpetrators, the Nigerian authorities will be sending a powerful message to the victims and the international community that atrocities committed by the terrorist group will not be ignored.”

“According to our information, the proposed bill aims to establish a “National Agency for the Education, Rehabilitation, De-radicalisation and Integration of Repentant Insurgents in Nigeria.” The company will get its funding from the Common Primary Schooling Fee, the Tertiary Schooling Belief Fund and annual subventions from the federal government.”

“Section 5(m) of the bill gives ‘repentant terrorists’ the opportunity of receiving foreign education, by among others accessing the services of offshore and Nigerian institutions in the pursuit of the educational needs of ex-agitators.” Underneath the invoice, one per cent of TETFund and UBEC fund can be utilized in funding the company for rehabilitating the terrorists. The company can even be funded by zero.5 per cent of the federal allocation of the six North-East states.”

“The bill, sponsored by Senator Ibrahim Geideam, representing Yobe East, has passed the first reading in the Senate. Among the likely beneficiaries under the bill will be 25 Boko Haram members and their wives, who recently arrived in Maiduguri, the Borno State, after they reportedly surrendered to troops in Niger Republic.”

SERAP due to this fact urged Dr Lawal to urgently provoke 4 separate payments to make sure:

1. ample reparations for victims of Boko Haram atrocities;

2. the supply of humanitarian help to these a lot in want;

three. entry to free, inclusive and high quality training to Nigerian kids from socially and economically deprived sectors of the inhabitants. Any such invoice ought to take away faculty charges and prices to make sure all college students can entry faculty equally, and goal monetary assist for ladies vulnerable to dropping out by way of women’ training methods;

four. speed up efficient prosecution of alleged repentant Boko Haram members and different members

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