CJN Laments High Rate Of Terrorism, Banditry

<strong>CJN Laments High Rate Of Terrorism, Banditry</strong>

Deborah Musa, Abuja

Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Tanko Muhammad has lamented the high rate of terrorism, banditry, kidnapping and other violent crimes in the country which he said posed existential threat to the survival of the country.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of a workshop for judicial officers at the National Judicial Institute, NJI, in Abuja, yesterday, the CJN said the rate of insecurity had only portrayed Nigeria as a place unfit for foreign investors, which he said would further cripple the economic strength of the nation.

Justice Muhammad explained that the effect of terror-related activities such as destruction of lives, public infrastructure, private and entrepreneurial investments has continued to project Nigeria as an unsuitable bride for foreign investments.

He said “the level of insecurity in the country, not only exposed the polity’s unpreparedness, but also brought a setback to the economic development and improvement in its human development.

“My lords, distinguished participants, ladies and gentlemen, we are all living witnesses to the fact that terrorism obscures every aspect of economic, social, cultural and political life, it brings instability and disrupts peace and coexistence in the society.

“In the light of the above, we cannot ignore this threat or wish it away. Preventing domestic terrorism and reducing the factors that fuel it, demand a multifaceted response from the three arms of government.

“You must ensure that the investigation and prosecution of terrorism related criminal cases including ‘incitement to’ and ‘recruitment for terrorism’ should be based on specific evidence, guarantee due process and fair trials.

“To this end, it is the duty of a judicial officer to ensure that these matters are dispensed with in line with the rule of law.

In his address, Administrator of the NJI, Justice Salisu Abdullahi said the theme of the workshop, ‘Law and National Security: The Role of the Judiciary,’ sought to reinforce the need for judicial officers and law enforcement agencies to understand the dynamism of the laws on national security.

“My lords, we can all agree that terrorism and other related violent crimes is an aberration and a threat to peace, security and economic prosperity of any nation.

“No doubt, it leads to influx of refugees and a surge in terms of internally displaced persons; it creates instability, restrictions on human rights and indeed, a hindrance to social, economic and political development.

“In the light of the foregoing and without prejudice to the complexity involved in adjudicating matters of national security, I want to urge other stakeholders in the fight against terrorism to be responsive and proactive in order to accelerate and ensure swift trial of suspects within reasonable time”, Justice Abdullahi stated.

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