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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