The Nigerian Army has stated it does not have the right to prosecute surrendered members of Bokoharam and Islamic State for West African Province (ISWAP) terrorists.
Director, Defence Information Benjamin Sawyerr stated this in an enquiry by The ICIR on Monday.
Sawyerr said the military does not have any law empowering it to put to trial anyone that surrenders as an “ex-combatant”.
He noted that the decision to prosecute any surrendered terrorists was left in the hands of the judiciary.
“For the aspect of prosecuting the BHTs that are surrendering in droves with their arms and family, the military doesn’t have any laws empowering the military to put to trial anyone who surrenders as an ex-combatant,” he said.
“The national judicial system would address that.”
The war against insurgency has taken a surprising turn in recent weeks after the Nigeria Army announced in several press releases that the terrorists who have been responsible for the death of more than 53,000 people and has displaced nearly 2.4 million people in the Lake Chad Basin were giving up their arms to embrace peace.
A development, which has continued to attract widespread criticisms for the Nigeria Army from Nigerians who believe that the terrorists should be made to face the full wrath of the law rather than being pampered.
The President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government had already expressed its unwillingness to prosecute the terrorists.
Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed recently said calls by Nigerians to prosecute surrendered Boko Haram terrorists were against global practices.
Rather than prosecution, Mohammed said that the military would reintegrate the terrorists into society after they have been properly profiled with assurances that they genuinely surrendered.