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Sunday, 1 March 2020

SERAP Asks Senate President Lawan To Drop Bill To Give ‘Repentant Terrorists’ Foreign Education

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sent an open letter to the Senate President Dr Ahmad Lawan, urging him to use his leadership position to “ensure that the bill that would allow ‘repentant Boko Haram terrorists’ opportunities to access public funds to enjoy foreign education is immediately dropped, and to sponsor bills that would ensure access to justice and reparation for the victims of Boko Haram terrorist group.”

According to SERAP, “the bill, which has passed the first reading at the Senate would give opportunities to ‘repentant terrorists’ to receive foreign education including by accessing funds from the Universal Basic Education Commission, the Tertiary Education Trust Fund and subventions from the government.”

In the letter dated 28 February 2020 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization said: “This bill erodes justice and makes a mockery of the suffering of victims, and the unspeakable human tragedy, humanitarian crisis and appalling atrocities committed by the Boko Haram terrorist group.”

SERAP said: “By calling Boko Haram members ‘ex-agitators’, the bill mocks the victims of appalling atrocities committed by the terrorist group, and is a blatant affront to victims’ dignity. ‘Repentant Boko Haram terrorists’ are not ‘ex-agitators’; they are terrorists under Nigerian and international laws.”

According to SERAP: “Boko Haram members should not be allowed to enjoy foreign education while over 13 million Nigerian children of school age are roaming our streets. Alleged perpetrators of gross violations should not get the benefits at the expense of these and other deserving children. Rather than allowing perpetrators to access public funds to enjoy foreign education, the Senate should be promoting reparation for victims, to prevent future criminality and ensure the best interest of justice.”

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