A Nigerian Senator who chairs the Senate Committee on Army, Ali Ndume has asked the federal government to reveal the identities of the 400 Bureau De Change operators who were recently arrested for allegedly funding Boko Haram insurgency in the country.
Senator Ndume represents Borno South Senatorial District in the nation’s National Assembly and told journalists on Sunday that the trials of the operators should be in public.
Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, had last month, said the Nigerian Government had arrested the operators for facilitating the transfer of money to Boko Haram terrorists.
He had said, “Bureaus de change are facilitating money to terrorists. We have already worked with the UAE.
“Convictions have been achieved of Nigerians who are transferring money to Boko Haram terrorists and this also happens domestically.
“I tell you that by the time we finish this investigation, the shocking details will surprise many Nigerians,” Mr Shehu had said.
Mr Ndume however called on the federal government to reveal the identities of those arrested while ensuring that their trials are done publicly.
“The presidency said recently that Nigerians would be shocked if it revealed the identities of those who are sponsoring the Boko Haram insurgents,” the lawmaker told journalists in the nation’s capital Abuja.
“Can you imagine that 400 Bureau De Change operators are the people funding the Boko Haram?
“When the BDC operators are arrested now, what will the government do with them. The presidency is already saying their case is confidential. What is confidential about it?
“The presidency should expose the identities of all the BDC operators so far arrested and carry out their trial in public.
“If any of them is innocent, he should be allowed to go while those found guilty must be made to face the music.”
“When I was wrongly accused, I was tried publicly and I was vindicated. The trial lasted six years in an open court. If there is any criminal act linked to anybody. No matter how highly placed, let the evidence be placed before the public, there should be no secret trial.
“Nowadays, criminals are arrested and paraded without further action. Nobody knows what happens to the people who killed 11 soldiers in Benue state recently. What happened to those who beheaded policemen in Cross River state?
“If everyone is doing what he is supposed to do as defined by our constitution and laws, we would not have these problems. Citizens should expose suspicious movements.