Over one week after security forces arrested 400 Bureau De Change (BDC) operators alleged to be financial sponsors of Boko Haram, senator representing Borno South, Ali Ndume, has opposed moves by the Federal Government to opt for a secret trial. According to media reports, the businessmen were arrested in an operation, coordinated by the Defence Intelligence Agency and in collaboration with the Department of State Services (DSS), Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The operation was said to have been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2020.
Ndume while addressing newsmen in Abuja yesterday, said: “The presidency said recently that Nigerians would be shocked if it revealed the identities of those who are sponsoring Boko Haram insurgents. Can you imagine that 400 BDC operators are the people funding Boko Haram.
“When the BDC operators are arrested, what will the government do with them. The presidency is already saying their case is confidential. What is confidential about it?”
He called on the Federal Government to expose the identity of the sponsors and those arrested. He said those found guilty must be brought to justice.
He said: “The presidency should expose the identities of 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.”