Nigerian Military not responsible for prosecution of bandits, terrorists – General Irabor

General Lucky Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff

… Says “Owo church, Abuja-Kaduna train attacks remain very painful to the Military”


Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor, has exonerated the Nigerian military from charges of inaction on terrorists, bandits and other criminal elements arrested in the fight against insurgency and insecurity across the country.

Answering questions from journalists in Abuja on Thursday, General Irobor also said that the attacks on an Abuja-Kaduna train and the Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State by armed bandits, remained very painful to the Nigerian military.

 He equally dismissed the view in some quarters that the Nigerian military lacked modern equipment needed for effective prosecution of the ongoing war against terrorism, kidnapping and banditry in the country.

General Irabor made the remarks during the bi-weekly briefing by the Director of Defence Media Operations (DMO), Major-General Bernard Onyeuko, who announced the arrest of a high-profile Islamic State of West Africa Province Commander, one Abba Yunus (aka Mallam Abba) and his accomplice at Samegu community in Kumbosto Local Government Area of Kano State and the surrender of a total of 57,000 Bokoo Haram Terrorists and their families between 2nd and 16th June, 2022.

During the briefing, held at the Defence Headquarters (DHQ), Abuja, there were concerns that since the beginning of the war on insecurity, no conclusive action had been taken against the thousands of persons arrested and paraded over their alleged involvement in terrorist, banditry, kidnapping and other acts of economic sabotage.

Director, Defence Information (DDI), Major-General OJ Akpor, noted that the issues of Human Rights and the slow pace of Nigeria’s justice system should be considered even when the appropriate authorities charge the suspects to court.

Stretching the argument further, General Irabor said it was wrong to hold the Military responsible for the perceived failure to prosecute and jail those arrested for terrorism, banditry and other criminal acts, with some of them even resurfacing in other crimes.

According to the CDS, “the responsibility is on you (the media) to follow up on what happens with the arrested bandits or terrorists.”

General Irabor noted that if the Armed Forces were to work within the ambit of Human Rights, “there wouldn’t be any Armed Forces,” stressing, we have our internal mechanisms repelling crime.”

On the recent Owo attack, general Irabor said: “It’s our desire and determination to see that any act that could lead to bloodletting in any part of Nigeria is prevented. Those behind that dastardly act must be brought to justice, and we are working towards that.”


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