Court frees 526, convicts 205 Boko Haram members

A total of 526 suspected Boko Haram members have been freed by the Federal High Court sitting in Wawa Cantonment, Kainji, Niger State.
Before the court wounded up last Friday, it had released 475 insurgents to bring the number of the total insurgents set free to 526. The court however convicted 205 of the insurgents arraigned before it by the Federal Government.
The figure was contained in a statement issued on Monday by Comrade Salihu Othman Isah, the Special Adviser to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN).
Isah said that among the reasons for setting the 526 suspects free are want of evidence, under aged (minor) and persons suffering from mental illness.
The suspects were arrested at different states and detained in Wawa Cantonment on suspicion they belong to the Boko Haram terrorist group.
However, they were discharged by the court based on motion ex-parte filed by the Federal Government prosecuting counsel for want of sufficient evidence pursuance of Section 35(4) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
Modu Maina, a native of Bama LG, Borno State was the only suspect discharged and acquitted by the Federal High Court judge.
He was arrested in Ketu, Lagos State where he worked as a gateman.
Maina confessed that he was forcefully initiated into the Boko Haram group but relocated to Lagos to avoid being arrested in Bama.
He said that all the confessional statements he made to Joint Task Force (JTF) was under torture.
The judge having reviewed the defendanta��s written confessional statements, found him not guilty.
Also, about 205 detained suspects were convicted and sentenced to imprisonment based on count charge against them.
Most of them were convicted for professing to belong to the terrorist group, concealing information about the group which they knew or believe to be of material assistance that could lead to the arrest, prosecution or conviction of Boko Haram members.
Their jail term ranges from three to 60 years.
Most of the convicts said the fear of being killed could not allow them to report to the JTF or any security agencies coupled with the fact that most villages had been ravaged by the Boko Haram including the security posts.

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