One may jump into the conclusion that both Nigerian and international laws combating terrorist activities have not recorded any successes. Though this may be true, it can be a hasty conclusion. The only success that both national and international laws have achieved has remained the enactment of laws that combat terrorism. As we discussed earlier, there are thirteen intentional conventions that tend to combat any terror-related offences.  In Nigeria on the other hand, there is a seeming “impeccable” anti-terrorism act (ie), the terrorism (prevention) Act, 2011 which was amended in February 2013. In Nigeria (better still), there is the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN’s) regulation on combating the financing of terrorism (CFT), 2011.

            The success of every law is recorded on the very basis of its efficiency in combating the very act against which the law was enacted. But on the issue of combating terrorism, despite the various conventions in that regard, there have been no cases of terrorism save where the issue of terrorism affects the fundamental human rights of the terrorist suspect.
            There have never been comments by writers and commentators on the success of both national and international laws in counter-terrorism.
            However, despite the success of making laws and conventions that combat terrorism, there have been bombardments of “acidic vituperations” by both human rights activists and other academic critics who lampoon all the thirteen conventions of the UN against terrorism.                     The human rights critics argue that counter-terrorism must comply with human rights standards and the flexibility built into human rights law to deal with exceptional circumstances10.
            In Nigeria, the laws that combat terrorism do not create the methods by which terrorist activities can be detected. Taking proactive measures to forestall unwanted events is alien to the country11.        
[1]Nigeria’s response to terrorism laws has unfortunately not yielded any good results. Nigeria instead of mapping out strategies of combating terrorism has resorted to the use of vicious suppression of opposition by the use of force12.  One alarming thing with this use of force is, in spite of this frequency of attacks including suicide bombings has ceased to abate13. This is one of the failures of Nigeria’s counter-terrorism. There have been reports of extra-judicial killings by the military and other security agencies, all in their bid to quench insurgence14.
            The     President        Goodluck Jonathan’s adoption of a hard-line approach devoid of political sophistication threatens to worsen the situation. The armed forces and police have no absolute jurisdiction in the north and can conduct large-scale operations with impunity. The brutalities of some elements in the security forces, particularly the Joint Task-Force (JTF), have embittered locals who in some cases fear the Joint Task-Force (JTF) more than the Boko Haram15.
            In reviewing the provisions of the terrorism (prevention) amendment) Act, 2013, we shall see a lot of flaws in the Act as they contravene the human rights provisions.
            First, it explicitly provides for extra-territorial application of the Act (which could, depending on the context, contravene the prohibition of double jeopardy under section 39(9) of the Nigerian constitution).
            Second, the new section13 of the terrorism (prevention) amendment) Act, 2013 (Amending section 28 of the TPA, 2011) though an improvement on the old section 28, still contravenes the “any other person of his own choice” stipulation of section 35(2) of the Nigerian constitution.
            Third, several provisions of the amendment Act repose considerable sentencing discretion in the courts (which in the absence of sentencing guidelines or in the hands of a capricious judge, is susceptible to abuse, as exemplified by the justice Talba Saga15). In this vein, the new section 1(2) presents significant human rights concerns.
            A person or body corporate who knowingly in or outside Nigeria directly or indirectly willingly:-
(a)       Does, attempts or threatens any act of terrorism,
(b)       Commits an act preparatory to or in furtherance of an act of  terrorism [3]
(c)       Omits to do anything that is reasonably necessary to prevent an act of terrorism,
(d)       Assists or facilitates the activities of persons engaged in an act of                 terrorism or an accessory to any offence under this Act, 
(e)       Participates as an accomplice in or contributes to the commission of any act of terrorism or offences under this Act, 
(f)        Assists, facilitates, organizes or directs the activities of persons or               organizations engaged in any act of terrorism,
(g)       Is an accessory to any act of terrorism, or
(h)       Incites, promises or induces any other person by any means                           whatsoever to commit any act of terrorism or any of the offences referred to in this Act, commits an offence under this Act and is liable on conviction to maximum of death sentence.
            The subjection of the enumerated acts or omissions (including “threats”) ‘to maximum of death penalty”, irrespective of the gravity of the offence, under mines the principle of proportionality and is open to abuse.
            Fourth, the death penalty provision of the Amended Act goes against the grain of the trend/movement for the abolition of the death penalty, as exemplified by the second optional protocol to the international covenants or civil and political rights and similar initiatives (especially under the European human rights required).
            Fifty, section 13 (27), which provides that the court may, pursuant to an ex-parte application, grant an order for the detention of a suspect under this Act for a period not exceeding 90 days subject to renewal for a similar period unit the conclusion of the investigation and prosecution of the matter that led to the arrest and detention is  dispensed with” is potentially contrary to the right to personal liberty under section 35 of the Nigerian constitution, especially against the backdrop of a community reading of subsections (1) (c), (4) (a) (b) and (5) while sub-section 1(c) permits deprivation of a person’s liberty, in accordance with a procedure permitted by law, “for the purpose of bringing him before a court in execution of the order of a court or upon reasonable suspicion of his having committed a criminal offence, sub-section (4) provides that such a person shall be brought before a court of law within a reasonable time, and if he is not tried within a period of;
(a)       Two months from the data of his arrest or detention in the case of a person who is in custody or is not entitled to bail or
(b)       Three months from the date of his arrest or detention in the case of a person who has been released on bail, he shall (without prejudice to any further preceding that may be brought against him) be released either unconditionally or upon such conditions as reasonably necessary to ensure that he appears for trail at a later date. According to sub-section 5, the expression “a reasonable time” means.
i.          In the case of arrest or detention in any place where there is a                                    court of competent jurisdiction within a radius of forty kilometres, a period of one day and
ii.         In any other case of an arrest or detention in any
iii.       In any other case, a period of two days or such longer period as in the circumstances may be considered by the court to be reasonable.
            Sixth, the new section 13 in amending 28(1) which provides that “where a person is arrested under reasonable suspicion of having committed any offence under this Act, the relevant law enforcement or security officer may direct that the person arrested be detained in custody for a period not exceeding forty eight hours”, potentially contravenes section 35(4) and (5) of the constitution which provides, “in the case of arrest or detention in any place where there is a court of competent jurisdiction with a radius of forty kilometres”.
            From the points made above, it is deducible that the Nigeria’s counter-terrorism marks a colossal failure. In a recent Amnesty   international report tilted “Nigeria trapped in the cycle of violence” alleges that “many of the acts that the Nigerian authorities have undertaken in the name of countering the threats to the public poses by Boko Haram have themselves involved serious violations of the human rights, including enforced disappearance, torture, and extrajudicial executions- crimes under international law which, by virtue of its international obligations, Nigeria is superficially required to investigate without delay and, where there is sufficient admissible evidence, to prosecute those responsible…”17                                    
      Internationally, the conventions that counter terrorism have failed in their course to fight terrorism by:
1.         The lack of a universally accepted definition of terrorism18, this increases the possibility of human rights violations and negatively impacts the ability of the international community to combat terrorism. There has not been a universal definition of terrorism. This means that terrorism is what any state calls it and should not be so. For an effective counter-terrorism there is the need for universally accepted definition of terrorism.
2.         Implication of human rights due to lack of transparency and adequate judicial oversight of counter-terrorism measures.

This is the case of Nigeria where there is lack of adequate judicial oversight of counter-terrorism. And for there to be an error-free counter-terrorism approach, there must be adequate judicial oversight and not a military-violent approach.    

10  Human Rights, Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism”: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Fact Sheet No.32
11 Osho O.  “Combating Terrorism with Cyber Security” The Nigerian Perspective” World Journal of Computer application and Technology 1(4): 103-109, 2013       
12 Ibid pg !06
13 “Responding to terrorism in Nigeria “retrieved from  responding to terrorism in Nigeria CSP  accessed on 25th November 2013  
14 Human Rights Watch (2011), “A human Rights Agenda for candidates in Nigeria’s 2011 Elections”  extracted on10th November, 2013
15 Ahmed S. H. etal “Counter Terrorist Trends and Analysis”, International centre for political violence and terrorism research
16 Lemi Ughegbe, “NJC suspends Talba Over N32b Pension Fraud Verdict”, The Guardian (Nigeria) April 26, 2013 
17 Amnesty International, “Nigeria. Trapped in the cycle of violence” (2012) P. 57 in Lani, V. and Frank, C. N. (supra)    
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