The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to tell Nigerians if he has freed Kabiru Sokoto, who is the only Boko Haram terrorist convicted for the killing of over 50 worshippers in the Christmas Day bombing in Niger State in December 2011.
The national coordinator of HURIWA, Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the national media affairs director, Zainab Yusuf, in a statement on Monday, September 12, 2016, recalled specifically that prior to his sentencing, the terror mastermind, Sokoto, was accused of withholding information on the plan to bomb St. Theresa Church.
Kabiru Abu Baker Dikka (aka Kabiru Sokoto) was sentenced to life imprisonment in December 2013 by Justice Ademola Adeniyi of the Federal High Court in Abuja.
As at 2015, he was being held in Kuje Prison following his conviction over his role in connection with the 2011 Christmas Day bombing of St. Theresa Catholic Church, Mandalla, Niger State.The blast in respect of which he was given life conviction, claimed about 44 lives and wounded 75 others.
Kabiru Sokoto was also charged with failure to disclose the plan to law enforcement officer as soon as practicable, an offence contrary to section 7(1) and punishable under section 33(1) of terrorism and prevention act 2011.
The statement further read “The accused allegedly facilitated the commission of terrorist act to wit by planting and encouraging some boys (now at large) at Mabira, Sokoto in Sokoto State with the intention to bomb the police headquarters and some other government agencies in the state.“The alleged offence is contrary to Section 15(2) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act 2004 and punishable under the same Act.”
Moreover, HURIWA asserted that since the current President Buhari administration agreed to free some Boko Haram terrorists being detained in exchange for the elusive Chibok school girls allegedly kidnapped over two years ago, the social media platforms are replete with reports of the release of this notorious terror mastermind who is one of the very few already convicted.
HURIWA also frown at the current federal government for failing to aggressively prosecute the terror suspects in detention but has decided to engage in subterranean deals with dreaded armed terrorists for whatever considerations which are however unconstitutional, illegal and undemocratic.
The group said it would amount to dancing on the graves of the innocent souls slaughtered by these terrorists for the current government to enter into this sort of satanic arrangements to set free a man who plotted the bombing of a Catholic Church filled up with worshippers thereby resulting in the slaughter of scores of Nigerians including babies and the elderly.
President Buhari should address Nigerians and clear the impression that his government has decidedly released a hardened terrorist convicted for his crimes against humanity even when political prisoners like Mr. Nnamdi Kanu is languishing in prison, the rights group concluded.