Senator Ali Ndume has said the surrendering Boko Haram members with blood on their hands must be appropriately prosecuted.
Ndume spoke to State House correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja at the weekend.
According to him, there may be innocent persons among them, some of who may have been used as slaves and human shields, and they must all be processed according to national and international laws.
He stated that since they had surrendered, they cannot be summarily executed.
He said; “My stance on this has not changed, only that maybe people interpret it the way they want. There is a national law that should guide all these and there’s international law that guides this because this is not the first time we’re having this sort of challenge in various countries.
“Normally, when you get to war level, you are expected to either defeat the enemy, or the enemy surrenders. Once the enemy surrenders, you lose the right of summarily executing him because he is an enemy.
“You also don’t have the right to summarily declare him innocent and say, oh, you have sinned, go and sin no more.
“What I was saying initially, and I still maintain this position, in as much as we welcome the surrendering of the Boko Haram, it is very important that we follow due process, according to the law of the land and international law.
“That is to say, take them in, profile them, process them, investigate them, interrogate them and then those that are innocent should be let go, and those that have blood on their hands, they should be appropriately prosecuted.
“Once the person surrenders, now, he has an advantage. Once you surrender, you cannot just be summarily convicted, you will be given the right to go to court and declare your innocence or otherwise. That is what I’m asking for.
“I’m also saying that as long as the war is continuing, it is now time to apply the carrot and stick approach. While we are prosecuting the war rigorously, in order to bring it to an end, a window is there available to tell those that are willing to surrender that you can surrender and then you will be processed accordingly.
“After that defeat or after the war has come to an end and the window is there for them to surrender as they are surrendering in droves now, they should be processed, they should be investigated.
“We sat down in Borno State last week as stakeholders to look at suggestions or ways that these people can after surrendering, be managed according to the law.”
Senator Ndume pointed out that following the resolutions reached by the Borno stakeholders meeting, the federal government would soon come out with a definite position on the best way to manage the issue of surrendered insurgents.
He advised that those who still want to surrender should be given a window of opportunity to do so.