International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

BOKO HARAM AND AMNESTY: A PHILO-LEGAL APPRAISAL
SAMUEL ASUQUO EKANEM, JACOB ABIODUN DADA, BASSEY JAMES EJUE

Abstract
Boko Haram figuratively implies that western or non-Islamic education is a sin, is a very controversial Nigerian militant Islamist group that seeks for the imposition of Sharia law in the entire northern states of Nigeria. The hierarchical structure of the group is not presently well defined. The official name of the group is Jamaiatu Ahlis Sunna Lidda?awati Wal-Jihad, which in Arabic translates to “people committed to the propagation of the prophet?s teachings and Jihad.” Literally therefore, the group means “Association of Sunnis for the propagation of Islam and for Holy War.” From this, it is clear that Boko Harm is a group of Islamic fundamentalists that are committed to carry out Holy War (Jihad) and Islamized northern states of Nigeria and probably conquer the entire country through Jihad. So far, the group has been waging the war successfully in its area of stronghold. However, a legal twist has been introduced into a religious matter. This legal twist is the call for amnesty to be granted to the group by certain interest groups with Islamic interest. Amnesty as a legal concept is usually given to people by a state to restore those who may have been guilty of an offence against it to position of innocent people. Amnesty is more than pardon as it obliterates all legal remembrance of the offence. Here, what is the offence of Boko Haram that amnesty is sought to obliterate? In this paper therefore, effort will be made to philosophically and legally appraise the group activities and the call for amnesty. We will look at the socio-economic conditions that give birth to Boko Haram. Also, we will attempt justification or otherwise for the call for amnesty within the constitutional framework of Nigeria as a secular state.

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