Boko Haram: Nigerian govt resumes prosecution of suspects


Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, has ordered the resumption of prosecution of suspected Boko Haram insurgents detained in various locations of the country.

His spokesman, Comrade Salihu Othman Isah, in a statement, said the second phase of the trial would commence at Kainji detention facility.

According to him, the resumption of trial arose from the conclusion of investigation of over 1000 suspects as ordered by the court during its proceedings of October 2017 by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.

He explained that it was expected that suspects with prima facie cases would be prosecuted, while others without it would have applications made for their discharge.

He said those discharged would undergo a process of deradicalization from the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, before their final release to their families.

Four judges were allocated to four dedicated courts to handle the trials located in a military facility in Kainji, while defence counsel were provided for those suspects without capacity to hire private legal practitioners to defend them.

Unlike the first phase, which was restricted, Isah said this phase was opened with some civil society groups, including human rights organisation and journalists, invited to witness the proceedings.

He said already, about 82 Boko Haram detainees have so far benefited from the Federal Government’s window to plead guilty to secure low jail terms or unconditional release, which is part of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration’s concerted effort to boost its human right records and decongest the nation’s prisons.

Isah said About 45 convictions have also been pronounced by the trial judges in the four syndicated courts established by then acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Abuja, Justice Abdu Kafarati.

According to him, the various Boko Haram suspects were sentenced to jail terms ranging from two to fifteen years, with most of them backdated to the date of their detention.

He said the second category was the set of suspects the Attorney-General found prima facie cases against and charges already filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja Division.

Isah said the third category were the suspects whose case files were either recommended for further investigation or had no investigation conducted on them at all and did not, therefore, have case files that would warrant the Attorney General of the Federation to form any opinion in respect of their cases.

He also said the fourth category was that of the suspects whose cases were reviewed and a prima facie found and might be willing to opt for a full trial.


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