Abducted Girls: Falana Rejects Jonathan’s Committee Appointment
Human rights lawyer and activist, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, yesterday declined President Goodluck Jonathan’s invitation appointing him into a 26-man presidential panel to mobilise efforts to rescue the 223 female students of the Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, who were abducted by the Boko Haram terrorists on April 15.
Falana disclosed his rejection in a statement, titled ‘Re: Presidential Committee on Abducted Girls’, on the grounds of conflict of interest and instead urged the president to direct the Joint Task Force (JTF) to intensify the military campaign to secure the release of the girls.
According to him, “l thank the Federal Government for appointing me as a member of the Presidential Committee to make recommendations for the release of the 223 students of the Government College, Chibok, Borno State who are still held incommunicado in the illegal custody of a gang of heartless criminals.
“Apart from my involvement in the ongoing nationwide demonstrations in which protesters are demanding for the immediate release of the abducted girls from the custody of the dreaded Boko Haram sect a Committee of Concerned Nigerians working with the parents of the girls has engaged my professional services to seek legal redress with a view to compelling the Federal Government to discharge its duty to the victims of the crime against humanity.
“Furthermore, I have accepted the request to collaborate with an international human rights organisation which is currently mobilising diplomatic and political support for the release of the abducted girls from the captivity of the nihilist forces.
“In the light of the foregoing I regret my inability to accept the appointment to serve on the Committee to determine the number of the missing girls.
“However, I urge the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces to direct the Joint Task Force to intensify the military campaign to secure the release of the girls. After all, the military authorities did announce last week that the girls would regain their liberty in a matter of days.” the popular lawyer added.
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