Femi Falana blames amnesty Programme for return of militancy


A Lagos-based human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has asked the Niger Delta Avengers to stop blowing up oil installations in the region, warning that the action will impoverish the Niger Delta. Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria who spoke in Lagos at an event marking the International Archives Day, added that lack of proper record-keeping was the reason for the increase in militant attacks in the country.

A statement on Sunday said the programme was organised by the Lagos State Archives and Records Bureau. The statement said, “Falana said if proper records had been kept, especially those of the pre and post amnesty programmes in the region, the ongoing militancy would have been nipped in the bud.

“The SAN advised authorities to put in place measures to protect the integrity of archival materials and ensure that records are updated as and when due. He said the lack of record-keeping had made it difficult to police the country, unlike in the developed countries where law enforcement agents make judicious use of records to nab criminals and curb crimes.

“Falana, who commended the cleaning up of the region by the Federal Government advised the Niger Delta Avengers to desist from blowing up oil wells in the region as such acts would further impoverish the people.”

The statement said Falana regretted that some lawyers took advantage of the lack of records to delay judgment in criminal cases. During the plenary session, a veteran journalist, Mr. Sam Omatseye, reportedly said those agitating for secession in the eastern part of the country were doing so because they had no sense of history. The state Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, who was represented by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, was said to have promised to ensure that records pertaining to the history of the state were properly kept.

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