The two famous lawyers and Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN), Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa and Itse Sagay, have shown support for the proposed bill seeking amnesty for Boko Haram members.
Itse Sagay, who is the Chairman of Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, said the anticipated bill seeking amnesty for Boko Haram members was a precarious subject. The bill was sponsored by Ibrahim Geidam, a senator representing Yobe East.
Itse Sagay said, “I would say it’s a precarious concept, although it happens. So, we have to be very careful about it.
That practice does exist in some countries. It is one that has to be handled very delicately, otherwise it could boomerang.
For instance, if the person is not yet fully repentant or pretends and you get carried away and restore him to normal civil life as if nothing has happened, it could give him another opportunity to strike a deadly blow.
It’s something that could be done very carefully, and then you have to be very particular about who you choose. It can’t be a very large scale thing, so that people may not think that you can commit horrors and later on you’ll be accepted back into society without consequence.
Similarly, Adegboruwa said the bill was not out of place, adding that if Niger Delta Militants can be given Amnesty, so can repentant Boko Haram members.
He added that every effort should be made to end the Boko Haram scourge, including possible de-radicalisation of repentant ones amongst them.
A crime is a crime, no matter the weight; since former President Umar Yar’Adua pardoned militants who raped, kidnapped and killed people, including foreigners, there is nothing wrong in reforming insurgents if they truly embrace amnesty.
Part of the focus of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act involves the transformation of criminals for the good of the society.
Though, all efforts should be made to properly monitor the repenting insurgents so that we don’t end up throwing the dreaded ones amongst them into the society to do more harm.