The Chief Justice of Kenya, Justice Willie Mutunga, has emphasised the need for due process to be followed in the trial of terrorists and corrupt individuals or officials.
Mutunga made the call on Monday in Abuja when he visited the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, Prof. Bem Angwe.
“What terrorists do is what must be condemned in its entirety. But we have to take a high moral ground of humanity.
“Here, even those people who do not deserve sympathy from anybody are actually taken through a humane process of the administration of Justice.
“If we do it this way, we will be seen as running a civilised system,” Mutunga said.
The chief justice, who referred to corrupt individuals and government officials as “economic terrorists”, also noted that due process must be followed in prosecuting them.
“Actually, the people who steal our collective wealth are also terrorists, they are economic terrorists. There is a system of justice that must take care of such people.
“We will only strengthen our judicial system if due process is followed in prosecuting such people.
“I have called corrupt people terrorists because people involved in human trafficking and counterfeiting for example causes the death of a lot of our people.
“They give us fake drugs and people die of malaria and so on. So we should look at this issue holistically and not fail to see the connection between corruption and terrorism.”
Mutunga, who is the President of the Supreme Court of Kenya, explained that terrorists were allowed into the country because of the activities of corrupt officials.
He also expressed the need for the state not to turn into terrorists in an attempt to fight terrorism.
“If in fighting terrorism, we allow the state to be a terrorist, and then the ordinary people will not tell the difference between the private terrorists and the state.
“It is very important for human rights groups and commissions to state it clearly that the terrorists are the scum of the earth.
“The issue of collateral damage which involves innocent people must be avoided at all cost.”
Responding, Angwe assured the Kenyan chief justice that the present administration was doing everything possible to end the issue of insecurity in the country.
He also reiterated the commission’s determination to remain the voice of the voiceless Nigerians.
“The commission will continue to remain the sunshine that will bring hope to all Nigerians. We are committed to being that strong voice for the voiceless Nigerians.
“We are determined to make a difference by being that instrument that will bring in that desired change that Nigerians have stood up loudly and clearly to say they want.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the chief justice is in Nigeria to attend the 55th Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association and visiting the commission was on his itinerary.