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Court Orders The Release of 475 Boko Haram Suspects

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A Federal High Court convened at the Wawa Cantonment, Kainji, Niger State, has directed that 475 Boko Haram suspects be released.

Presiding over the trial of about 1,000 Boko Haram suspects, held in the cantonment,  the court ruled that the freed persons be sent to their state governments for appropriate  rehabilitation.

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The release of the suspects was made known on Sunday, by Salihu Othman Isah, the media aide to Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN).

Isah disclosed that the court directed the release of the Boko Haram suspects during its sitting on Friday, adding that the suspects were arrested in various states across the nation and detained at Wawa Cantonment.

The suspects’ release was upon a motion ex-parte filed by the prosecution pursuant to Section 35 (4) of the Constitution.

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Isah said the prosecution sought their release because it could not charge them with any offence due to lack of sufficient evidence against them.

He said they were arrested and detained based on a tip off that they were members of the terrorist group Boko Haram.

Part of the statement reads: “The court also directed states to provide for the released persons, rehabilitation at any appropriate centre provided by the states before being released to their families.

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“Those suspects who suffer from mental or other health challenges  are to be provided with necessary medical assistance at appropriate medical facilities.

“The states are also to provide appropriate training in the manner and for the period that the state deemed appropriate and reasonable.

“Among the list of the group released was a pathetic case of a female suspect, Lubabatu Yakubu who was arrested in 2014, two days after marriage and divorced by her Boko Haram husband.

“Also freed was a young mother, with her three months old baby, Mariam Mohammed, said to be a Shua Arab from Borno State

“She was said to have been lured into the Boko Haram sect and taken to Sambisa forest by her elder brother and married off to his friend at eleven years old.

“Taye Hamza and Kehinde Hamza are identical twins from Oyo State. They were based in Bauchi State. They were among the lucky ones released.

“The twins who were said to be motor mechanics, were arrested in 2010 by the DSS at their workshop in Bauchi State for servicing a vehicle belonging to a Boko Haram member.

“A 35 year old, Haruna Yahaya who was earlier sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for participating in the abduction of over 200 schoolgirls from Chibok, Borno State on Monday, was on Friday handed additional 15 years jail term.

“On Friday, the court sentenced him to additional 15 years imprisonment for being a mastermind of the said abduction.”

Ibukun Josephine Bankole was a Senior Associate at Naija News. A Mass Communication graduate, Ibukun is passionate about journalism especially in the areas of health and child related issues. She loves eating beans, singing, acting and giving motivational speeches. Ibukun is meticulous and has a positive approach to life. Contact me via twitter/Instagram @ibukunbankole_

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