Nigerian court releases 475 Boko Haram suspects

Latest news

    Nigerian soldiers have made gains against Boko Haram fighters in recent years [File: EPA]

    Nearly 500 Boko Haram suspects have been released by a Nigerian court citing a lack of evidence, with some detainees held for years without charge.

    The 475 suspects will be returned to their home states for “proper rehabilitation” before being sent back to their families, a justice ministry statement said on Sunday.

    Those detained were arrested on suspicion they belonged to Boko Haram or had concealed information about the group’s plans or fighters’ whereabouts.

    “However, the Prosecution Counsel could not charge them with any offence due to lack of sufficient evidence against them. Therefore, the suspects were released,” the statement said.

    The court proceedings in the town of Kainji, in central Niger state, was part of the second phase of an unprecedented mass trial of more than 1,600 suspects. 

    Some of the cases heard last week involved suspects held without trial since 2010.

    Among those released was a young girl with a three-month-old baby from Borno State who was taken to a Boko Haram enclave by her brother and married off to his friend when she was 11. She was arrested in 2014 while trying to escape.

    {articleGUID}

    The Kainji court sentenced 20 Boko Haram members to between two and 15 years in jail last week. 

    It also imposed a second 15-year sentence on Haruna Yahaya, 35, who was involved in the 2014 kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls from the Chibok region.

    Earlier in the week, he had been jailed for 15 years but the court handed him an additional 15-year term on Friday, with the judge saying the two sentences would run consecutively.

    In total, some 1,669 people have been processed in a string of mass hearings that began in October.

    Most were men, but some women and children were also jailed. Nigeria was criticised by human rights groups for holding them for years without trial, or even contact with a lawyer.

    After the first phase of the trial in October, 45 Boko Haram fighters were sentenced to between three to 31 years in jail, while about 500 people were discharged. 

    More than 20,000 people have been killed and two million forced to flee their homes in northeastern Nigeria since Boko Haram launched a rebellion in 2009 aimed at creating an Islamic state.

    Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari recently said the era of Boko Haram violence “is gradually drawing to end”. However, the group continues to launch attacks in the country’s northeast and its leader remains at large.

    View the original article: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/02/nigerian-court-releases-475-boko-haram-suspects-180218160036240.html

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies

    In the same category are

    Saudi human rights activists awarded ‘alternative Nobel prize’ Abdullah al-Hamid, Mohammad Fahad al-Qahtani and Waleed Abu al-Khair are currently in jail and serving between 10 and 15 years Three jailed Saudi h...
    Russia to send S-300 missile defence systems to Syria Moscow says the S-300 air defence system will be delivered to the Syrian armed forces within two weeks In a televised statement on Monday, Shoigu s...
    Autumn arrives in Eastern Europe with icy weather front Cold weather is charging across Eastern Europe as the region prepares for its first Arctic blast after the summer. The leading edge of the frigid weat...
    Athletes and fans hail Tiger Woods comeback victory in Atlanta Hobbled by back problems since 2014, Woods underwent spinal fusion surgery a year ago American golfer Tiger Woods has clinched his first title vict...
    James Rickets: Filmmaker flies to Australia after Cambodia pardon Ricketson was convicted to a six-year jail sentence for espionage that he received last year after flying a drone over an opposition rally Australi...
    Turkey arrests 61 soldiers over alleged Gulen links: state media The Turkish government says the arrests following 2016 coup-attempt are in line with the rule of law Turkish authorities have ordered the arrest of...

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.