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Nigeria to release over 300 suspected Boko Haram members due to lack of evidence

March 30, 2024
Nigeria to release over 300 suspected Boko Haram members due to lack of evidence
Source: SETA

's military has announced plans to release more than 300 individuals suspected of involvement with the Boko Haram Islamist insurgency following a court ruling that found no evidence of their criminal activities, according to a statement by defence spokesperson Major General Edward Buba on Thursday.

The decision stems from a case prosecuted in northeastern Borno state, the epicentre of the Boko Haram insurgency, which began in 2009 with the group's aim to overthrow the government and establish an Islamic state. The insurgency has led to tens of thousands of deaths and displaced over 2 million people, contributing to one of the world's most severe humanitarian crises.

“The court ordered their release for want of evidence after the conclusion of investigations and other ancillary matters,” stated Major General Buba during a media briefing held in the capital, Abuja.

The cases were handled by the Department of Prosecution under the Federal Ministry of Justice, with the individuals set to be transferred to the Borno State Government for further action. Major General Buba did not disclose the location of the suspects' detention or the duration of their incarceration.

Nigeria has been implementing an amnesty program for jihadists who voluntarily surrender, providing them with rehabilitation and reintegration into society. However, this initiative has sparked tensions in some communities.

Boko Haram gained global notoriety in 2014 following the abduction of over 270 schoolgirls from Chibok town, prompting the #BringBackOurGirls campaign. As the tenth anniversary of the kidnapping approaches next month, dozens of the abducted girls remain missing.

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