Nigeria court convicts 45 Boko Haram militants
14 Oct 2017 - 10:32
LAGOS, Nigeria: At least 45 Boko Haram militants were convicted on terrorism charges on Friday during a secret trial, Nigerian information minister Lai Mohamed said Friday.
“A federal high court sitting in Kainji, Niger State, has convicted and sentenced 45 Boko Haram members to between three and 31 years in jail, following the conclusion of the first phase of the trial during which 575 Boko Haram suspects were arraigned,” Mohamed said in a statement.
He said 468 suspects in the case were freed since they had “no case to answer”; they would be asked to undergo “de-radicalization and rehabilitation” programs before they get permission to get reunited with their families.
He said 34 cases had been struck down while 28 suspects were remanded in custody for trial in capital Abuja city and central Minna town.
The names and other details of the suspects were not released.
The Justice Ministry confirmed the commencement of the trial to Anadolu Agency on Monday, asserting, however, that the proceedings were not open to the media or the public.
The Amnesty International condemned the secret trial which it feared may deny the suspects a right to fair trial and access to legal counsel.
The trial commenced with a formal remand by the court of 1,669 suspects for a period of 90 days, with the court ordering that they be arraigned within the specified period or released unconditionally, he added.
The court adjourned the trial of other suspects to January 2018.