The Federal Government will soon resume the mass prosecution of Boko Haram suspects currently held in particular military formations throughout Nigeria, according to Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami (SAN), who made the announcement on Monday, December 12.
Malami claimed that President Muhammadu Buhari has authorized funding for the activity.
The AGF announced the information in Abuja during a special court session to mark the new fiscal year (2022/2023) for the Federal High Court.
He was represented by Beatrice Jedy-Agba, Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Justice and Solicitor-General of the Federation.
Malami said, “I would like to use this opportunity to appreciate the recent special intervention granted by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, for the provision of funds and other logistics for the commencement of the second phase of prosecutions of Boko Haram suspects.
“It is my considered advisory that the fast-track innovations that were introduced in the electoral cases should also be extended to certain cases which are of high economic or commercial importance in view of the ripple effects of delay in the conclusion of such cases.”
In his submission, Justice John Tsoho, the Chief Justice of the Federal High Court, criticized the National Assembly for changing the Electoral Act without consulting the judiciary.
He expressed concern that other branches of the government were adding to the judiciary’s burden without increasing its budget in line with it.
Justice Tsoho said, “By virtue of Sections 29 (5) and 84(14), of the Act (Electoral Act 2022), exclusive jurisdiction is foisted on the Federal High Court in the hearing and determination of pre-election complaints.
“Linked to that jurisdiction is Section 285(10) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), which provides that such pre-election cases must be concluded within 180 days from the date of filing of the suit.
“This is notwithstanding the judges’ existing ‘high-volume’ dockets that present enormous challenges.
“It is necessary to place on record that the Electoral (Amendment) Act 2022 was enacted without any consultation with the court.
“Also, no support whatsoever was provided to address the increased responsibility. This weighed heavily on the operations of the court.”