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Senate disowns IGP’s claim on anti-terror law

Channels Television  
Updated November 21, 2012

The Senate has disowned claims by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Mohammed Abubakar, that the absence of an anti-terror law  on terrorism is the major reason why Boko Haram suspects in police custody have not been charged to courts.

Briefing journalists on Wednesday, the Senate spokesperson, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe explained that the Terrorism Prevention Act was passed by both houses of the national assembly and signed by President Goodluck Jonathan on June 3, 2011.

According to him, the law was also amended on the 17th of October, 2012 to further expand the scope of the bill.

Senator Abaribe said the Senate was surprised by comments made by the Police boss that there was no law to prosecute arrested suspected terrorists.

The IGP, while responding to questions over the inability of the police to prosecute terrorists on Tuesday, had alleged that there were no laws in the country to prosecute them.

“The Senate is surprised that the Inspector-General of Police will say there is no anti-terrorist law” Senator Abaribe stated, adding that “in fact, I have here a copy of the Terrorism Prevention Act of 2011 signed by President Goodluck Jonathan.”

“The Act was passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives on June 1, 2011 and on June 2, 2011; it was forwarded by the Clerk to President Jonathan.

“The bill was so important to the President that he signed it into law on June 3, 2011.”

“The bill makes elaborate provisions for prosecuting persons who have committed terrorism acts.”

The Senate spokesperson further explained that there has been an amendment to the bill which was passed on October 17, 2012.

“The amendment was merely to expand the part of the provision in that bill, but everything that you need to fight the war against terrorism is already in the bill.”

“We will send a copy of this bill again to the I-G” Senator Abaribe declared as he expressed the Senate’s strong concerns saying “we find it difficult to believe that an arm of government will say we don’t have a law signed by the President.”

The Senator cautioned the police not to hold onto the claims of no laws as an excuse not to prosecute terrorists.