Leahy vetting and the dilemma on super tucano jet | Dailytrust

Leahy vetting and the dilemma on super tucano jet


t does seem like the war against terrorism in Nigeria is getting more convoluted by the day particularly going by the fact that Boko Haram is now able to reach soft targets more than ever before by recruiting more civilians who provide logistic and information platforms that divulge security secrets that facilitate ambush tactics against military positions.

This palladium of the terrorist-designated Boko Haram and their civilian conspirators is what has morphed into the evil hybrid now termed the “bandits”, a convenient nomenclature that granted an undeserving civil indulgence to the heinous monstrosity.

Had this hybrid been less malevolent because of its civilian component it would have been a different case, rather their operations across the North West and part of the North Central geopolitical zones have defied military intelligence and have inhibited the deployment of a full scale military arsenal to dislodge.

The Super Tucano Jets were sold to Nigeria by the United States on terms and  conditions that are subject to the Leahy Vetting Law to help in the war against terrorism.

The term “Leahy law” refers to two statutory provisions prohibiting the U.S. Government from using funds for assistance to units of foreign security forces where there is credible information implicating that unit in the commission of gross violations of human rights (GVHR).

One statutory provision applies to the State Department and the other applies to the Department of Defense. The State Department Leahy law was made permanent under section 620M of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, 22 U.S.C. 2378d. The U.S. government considers torture, extrajudicial killing, enforced disappearance and rape under colour of law as GVHRs.

 The State Department Leahy law includes an exception permitting the resumption of assistance to a unit if the Secretary of State determines and reports to Congress that the government of the country is taking effective steps to bring the responsible members of the security forces unit to justice.

The DoD Leahy law is similar to the State Leahy law. Since 1999, Congress included the DoD Leahy law in its annual appropriations act. The DoD Leahy law is now permanent in Section 362 of Title 10 of the U.S. Code. It requires that DoD-appropriated funds may not be used for any training, equipment or other assistance for a foreign security force unit if the Secretary of Defense has credible information that such unit has committed a GVHR. The law allows for two exceptions to this restriction. The first is in cases where the Secretary of Defense (after consultation with the Secretary of State) determines that the government of that country has taken all necessary corrective steps. This first exception is also known as “remediation.” A second exception exists if U.S. equipment or other assistance is necessary to assist in disaster relief operations or other humanitarian or national security emergencies.

The bandits having proven inane capability to carry out the act of terrorism including shooting down a military aircraft, mass abduction, large scale murder have left no one in doubt as to who they are.

One gratifying denouement noticeable in the Nigerian defense information strategy worth commending is the proactiveness of the Chief Of Defence Staff to constantly engage the press thereby keeping Nigerians informed of the intricate loop of successes and challenges of various theater operations across the country.

In one of those interactions, the CDS referred to the vitiating factors imposed by the Leahy Law to the use of the Super Tucano Jets by the United States.

This same concern has been escalated to the National Assembly and a joint resolution of the two houses has been secured for the president to declare the bandits as terrorists so the Jets can be deployed to rout the insurgents once and for all.

Nigerians are waiting with bated breath on Mr President to do the needful on this exigent matter of national concern. Every single day, this decision is vacillated, more lives  and properties are lost, more abductions are recorded and more carnage is visited on innocent Nigerians.

 Bukola Ajisola wrote via  bukymany@yahoo.com

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