Senator Ali Ndume, the lawmaker representing Borno South Senatorial District, has said repentant terrorists who have killed people must face justice for their actions.
Ndume said this to State House correspondents after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday.
The Nigerian Army had in August announced that over 100 Boko Haram fighters with their families have surrendered to the troops under its de-radicalisation and rehabilitation programme known as “Operation Safe Corridor”.
Reacting to the apparent surrendering by the insurgents, Ndume, who is also Chairman of the Senate Committee on Army, said the former insurgents cannot be let scot-free just because they have surrendered.
He stated that those “that have blood on their hands” must be investigated and prosecuted.
He said: “My stance on this has not changed, only that maybe people interpret it the way they want. There is a national law that should guide all these and there is international law that guides this because this is not the first time we’re having this sort of challenge in various countries.
“Normally, when you get to war level, you are expected to either defeat the enemy or the enemy surrenders. Once the enemy surrenders, you lose the right of summarily executing him because he is an enemy. You also don’t have the right to summarily declare him innocent and say, oh, you have sinned, go and sin no more.
“What I’m saying initially and I still maintain this position, in as much as we welcome the surrendering of the Boko Haram, it is very important that we follow the due process, according to the law of the land and the international law.
“That is to say, take them in, profile them, process them, investigate them, interrogate them and then those that are innocent, should be let go, and those that have blood on their hands, they should be appropriately prosecuted.
“Once the person surrenders, now, he has an advantage. Once you surrender, you cannot just be summarily convicted, you will be given the right to go to court and declare your innocence or otherwise. That is what I’m asking for.”