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Repentant Insurgents: Pardoning insurgents is unwarranted – Nurain

Barrister Olaitan Taiwo Nurain is an Ilorin-based legal practitioner, he is a graduate of the University of Ilorin in 2003, he attended the Nigerian Law School, Abuja Campus between 2004 and 2005 and was called to Bar in 2005. He had his pupillage with the legal firm of Chief Akinmade Yahaya Abolarin in Ilorin. He is presently practicing at the Chambers of Salisu Ahmed Esq.

In this interview with JIMOH SULYMAN, the legal practitioner shares his thoughts on the topic of repentant, insurgent, among other sundry issues. Excerpts;

Should the law take its course on insurgents or should they be pardoned?

To start with, for a criminal to be entitled to pardon, he ought to have exercised some degree of remorse and reform. That is why pardon normally comes after a convict has served an appreciable period of prison term wherein his behaviour and character generally could be observed to qualify him for recommendation for pardon.

Premised on this reasoning, I strongly suggest that the law should take its course. This will surely deter others who have the same line of reasoning.

How do you think that will affect the fight against insurgency?

I don’t believe that it will affect the war against insurgency negatively, rather, it will produce positive results. We must understand that one of the main purpose of the criminal justice system is deterrence. If punishment for criminal offences do not deter criminals then it means that the sentence imposed by law is grossly inadequate and needs to reviewed.

Do you think it could be a ruse by the insurgents to infiltrate our security ranks?

Well, even if they set the plan up to infiltrate our security ranks, if we follow due process set down by law to put them in prison first before granting pardon to whosoever merits it with his reformed character, such a set up will fail eventually.

I strongly suggest that special courts be created to try these offences to fast track the whole process. Once a good number of the perpetrators are tried, convicted and put behind bars, insurgency will reduce naturally.

If forgiven as suggested by some quarters, do you think it will become an escaping window for future criminals?

I’m not an advocate for or part of those asking for forgiveness and or pardon for insurgents. There is no reason for it at all. Human beings should be ready to face the consequences of their actions.  We should not be complicit by giving them an easy way out. These people are not honest and can’t be trusted. We should take clues from the bitter experiences of Zamfara and Katsina State Governors.


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