Terrorist Financier: Tukur Mamu gives AGF seven days to retract claim

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The publisher of the Kaduna-based Desert Herald Newspaper, Tukur Mamu, has written the Attorney General of the Federation, demanding the retraction of his profile as a terrorist financier.

Mamu, in a letter dated March 25, 2024, written on his behalf by Counsel, J.J. Usman, SAN, gave the Attorney General a seven-day ultimatum to effect the retraction to prevent litigation.

The letter explained, “We are counsel to Mr Tukur Mohammed Mamu (hereinafter referred to as our client), whose firm and absolute instructions we relate to you on the above subject matter.

“Recall that Our Client was arraigned by the Federal Government of Nigeria, particularly before the Federal High Court, Abuja Division, in CHARGE No. FHC/ABJ/CR/96/2023 between THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA and TUKUR MOHAMMED MAMU.”

The letter noted that his office is currently prosecuting their Client on allegations concerning terrorism, attaching is a certified true copy of the said Charge mark as ANNEXURE “A” for ease of reference.

It stated that on March 19, 2024, while the case against their Client is still pending, the social media was saturated by a publication allegedly emanating from and authorised by his office.

The letter said the publication was specifically made by the “Nigerian Sanctions Committee,” wherein their client was profiled and designated as a “terrorist financier”, stressing that as at the time of this missive, no Court of competent jurisdiction in Nigeria has designated their Client as such.

The letter stated, “Attached herewith is a copy of the publication downloaded from the internet, marked as Annexure “B” for ease of reference”.

The letter said ”it is common knowledge that the administration of the criminal justice system in Nigeria is not only antithetic to, but forbids media trials in whatever guise and vehemently condemns the actions of the Nigerian Sanctions Committee, the same being a violation of the rule of natural justice and prejudicial to their client that is undergoing trial and whose trial is still pending in SUIT FHC ABJ/CR/96/2023.

It described the action “as sardonic and very disheartening” that the publication is coming from the Nigerian Sanctions Committee that ordinarily should be fueling the front burner in championing the course for the sustenance of the Rule of Law in Nigeria.

It explained, “Albeit, the Nigerian Sanctions Committee lacks the statutory mandate to pronounce on and designate Mr Tukur Mohammed Mamu as a terrorist financier, even when it is a notorious fact that Mr Tukur Mohammed Mamu is undergoing trial. It is so, particularly that the court has not made any pronouncements detailing him as one.”

It stated that it is its firm position that the action of the Nigerian Sanctions Committee is not just tantamount to the usurpation of the Court’s power provided under Section 6 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) but is a mockery of the Nigerian judicial system.

The Counsel alleged that the said designation is a deliberate ploy to soil the name and the hard-earned reputation of Tukur Mamu, in whose favour the constitutional right to the presumption of innocence insures.

”By the publication above referred to, the letter believed that it becomes crystal clear that the Federal Government of Nigeria is the complainant against their client, the prosecutor of their client, and is now putting itself in a head-on collision with the judicial power of the court by assuming an adjudicatory position thereon.

”Adjuging our client as a terrorist has eroded all the jurisprudential tenets of the rules of natural justice”.

The letter demanded in very clear and unequivocal terms, the immediate retraction of the said publication within 7 days from the receipt of the letter.

“Failure to comply with our Client’s demand, we will have no hesitation in seeking redress in the Court of law for the ventilation of our Client’s grievances,” the letter, which was copied to the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit said.

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