The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, on Friday warned against the Rehabilitation, Deradicalisation and Reintegration bill sponsored by Senator Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe East Senatorial District.
HURIWA, a prominent civil rights advocacy group said the bill which proposes outright pardon of repentant armed terrorists under the guise of deradicalization programme could result in civil war either in the short, medium or long term.
The rights group warned that the bill was unconstitutional and offends all relevant anti-terrorism laws of the federation.
In a statement jointly signed by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA alleged that some lawmakers were conniving with armed terrorists to introduce “satanic legislation.”
The group said: “Let us from the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) caution the section of the National legislators who are actively conniving with armed terrorists to introduce a satanic legislation that will overlook the mindboggling crimes of genocides committed by terrorists and the killings of over 30,000 innocent Nigerians in the last ten years with the view to appease terrorists even when the victims of terrorism are scattered in different internally displaced people camps in Nigeria and are external refugees in so many near by Countries.
“If this bill to legalize the freeing of arrested terror suspects under any guise succeeds, then the nation should be prepared for the consequences of their unconstitutional action because the hundreds of thousands of innocent victims of the terrorists attacks in the last decade will definitely not fold their hands whilst those who killed their loved ones are pardoned through roguish means by the passage of this criminally minded bill that is meant to legalize belonging to terror cells and participating in mass murders.
“This bill before the senate is not only satanic and unconstitutional, but will paint the picture of a rogue nation because in all civilizations, those who declare war against innocent citizens and participate in genocide are rounded up and prosecuted and made to face the full weight of the law. History is replete with a plethora of trials of persons who have joined terror gangs and carried out mass killings. The plot by the National Assembly to therefore permit the wanton defecation of the constitution of Nigeria by forgiving mass murderers must never be allowed to succeed, ” HURIWA affirms.
“The government must engage in a law based war by enforcing anti-terrorism laws. Section 1A (4) of the TPA (as amended) empowers “the law enforcement agencies” to “enforce all laws and regulations on counter–terrorism in Nigeria”. Prior to the TPA, Section 46 of the EFCC Act 2004 defines “terrorism” to mean a violation of the Criminal Code or the Penal Code and with likelihood of endangering life, integrity or freedom, or causing serious injury or death with the intent to force the person(s) or body or government to do or not to do certain things or disrupt and includes financing or aiding terrorism. The punishment for the crime by Section 15 of the EFCC Act is imprisonment for life.”