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Court frees 313 Boko Haram suspects



Court frees 313 Boko Haram suspects

The Federal High Court in Borno on Thursday, ordered the release of over 313 suspected Boko Haram terrorists arrested by the military.

The court ordered their release for lack of evidence to nail them.

Meanwhile, the Defence Headquarters on Thursday, disclosed that troops neutralised 121 terrorists, apprehended 253 and rescued 244 kidnapped hostages in different operations nationwide in one week.

The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj. Gen. Buba Edward, disclosed these during the briefing on military operations across the country on Thursday in Abuja.

He assured that the military would comply with the court order and release the suspected terrorists to the state government.

Buba said, “During the week, as a follow-up to a court order of the Federal High Court in Maiduguri, a total of 313 suspects in detention for terrorism-related offences were to be released to the Borno State government. The court ordered the release for want of evidence after the conclusion of the investigation and other ancillary matters.

“The cases were prosecuted by the Department of Prosecution, Federal Ministry of Justice. Accordingly, they would be handed over to the Borno State Government for further action.”

The PUNCH reports that this is not the first time suspected terrorists would be acquitted for want of evidence.

The Minister of Justice and the Attorney General of the Federation, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) had on December 4, 2023, said out of a total of 1,323 suspects prosecuted for terrorism, only 366 convictions were secured.

He noted that 896 others were discharged for lack of evidence.

Fagbemi said, “I must acknowledge the fact that we have come a long way in this initiative. The first phase of the Kainji Prosecution Project commenced in October 2017 with remarkable achievements where we recorded a total of 366 convictions, 896 others were discharged for want of sufficient evidence and 61 other cases adjourned for further hearing.

“There have been three phases of the exercise so far, spanning between October 2017 and July 2018. I must, at this point, challenge all stakeholders to ensure that the momentum is sustained, seeing how important this assignment is to the well-being of our beloved country and her people.”

On the operations of the military in the last one week, Buba said the North-East, troops of Operation Hadin Kai neutralised 52 terrorists, arrested 137 and rescued 78 kidnapped hostages during the week under review.

He added that troops also recovered three M56 rifles, 40 AK47 rifles, three PKT guns, 13 fabricated rifles, two hand grenades, 889 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo amongst others.

In the North Central, Buba said the troops of Operations Safe Haven and Whirl Stroke, killed 47 terrorists, apprehended 17 and rescued four kidnap victims as well as recovered a cache of arms.

In the North-West, the defence spokesman said the troops of Operation Hadarin Daji neutralised 62 terrorists, arrested 12 others and rescued 162 kidnapped hostages.


He said the troops also recovered 46 AK47 rifles, 26 locally made Dane guns, one fabricated revolver pistol, 352 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 101 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, among other items.


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