As terror attacks continue to grow in north eastern Nigeria, the attorney general of the federation, Mohammed Adoke, SAN, has revealed what the federal government would do to those using female children as suicide bombers in the area.
According to an advisory which the minister for justice issued on January 21, 2015, first reported by Thisday newspaper online, he stated that the federal government would prosecute members of Boko Haram for using female children as suicide bombers.
Adoke also added that he was deeply concerned by reports that young children were being used as suicide bombers in violation of the innocence of the children.
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He condemned the use of girls as bombers and reminded perpetrators that the practice amounted to breaches of international and domestic laws that guaranteed the rights of children during periods of hostility and armed conflicts.
Adoke stated: “I therefore consider it my duty to issue this advisory primarily to put all terrorist elements on notice that the current hostilities in the north east region will not compromise the resolve of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to enforce all domestic laws and international conventions to which we are party.
“I also wish to reiterate the fact that no matter how long it takes, all violators of the said laws and conventions will ultimately be brought to justice.”
The minister said that as a signatory to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Nigeria was under obligation to abide by and enforce the provisions of Article 8(2)(b), which made it a war crime to conscript children under the age of 15 years into the national armed forces or use them to participate actively in hostilities.
He also called on the military high command to ensure that “its responsibility to avoid the use or abuse of children and young persons in the current campaign was imbibed by its commanders and personnel at all levels of engagement”.
Adoke assured the international community of the determination of the federal government to continue to uphold its international obligations.
He said: “Our resolve to prosecute terrorist elements and any other person who undertake the active use of children in hostilities or armed conflicts, or engage in other unlawful acts contrary to our domestic laws and international obligations on protection of children and young persons remain unshakeable and irreversible. No matter how long it takes, justice will certainly be done in due course.”
It will be recalled that four people were killed at a bus station in Potiskum in Yobe State.
last week after a suicide bomber attack.
According to police and hospital sources, about 48 others were also injured in the attack.
“We have evacuated four dead bodies and 48 injured persons from the scene of the suicide blast,” a police officer informed newsmen.
The bomber “blew up his car at a bus station,” said the officer, asking not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
An eyewitness at the scene of the incident said that the bomber came disguised as a passenger and got into a Vectra Opel car with four other passengers before blowing himself off with the passengers.