Army Releases 275 Boko Haram Suspects

Some of the released 275 detainees. Photograph: Premium Times
Some of the released 275 detainees. Photograph: Premium Times

The Nigerian Army on Friday released 275 innocent people detained on suspicion of being Boko Haram members.

The victims comprise of 271 Nigerians, two Cameroonians and two Nigeriens.

The commander of the counterterrorism campaign, Operation Lafiiya Dole, Hassan Umaru, a Major General, handed over the persons to the Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima, in Maiduguri, the state capital.

“Our crack team of joint investigators has screened and cleared the persons that are in the process of being released here today,” Umaru said.

The detainees included 142 males, 49 females, 22 under aged and 50 children of cleared females.

While expressing sadness over their detention, the army chief urged them to see their ordeal a sacrifice in the effort to restore peace to the northeast.

”Their stay in detention had not been palatable due to restrictions imposed on them and loss of freedom.

“However, I see it as their sacrifice and contribution toward the return of peace in our country,” he noted.

He said eight persons would be handed over to the police for further investigation due to their criminal nature. He said the army is committed to the protection of human rights of both Nigerians and foreigners.

Governor Shettima, while receiving them, thanked the military for its professionalism and decision to release the victims.




     

     

    “Today bears a sense of professionalism, justice, equity and fairness of the Nigerian Armed Forces.

    ”This action bears testimony to the fact that we are running a very professional force, contrary to insinuations from several quarters speculating arbitrary killings, detention and dehumanisation of suspects,” he said.

    The governor admonished the released persons to remain law abiding and assured that in addition to stipends, vocational trainings will be given to those that require them while those of school age will be given the opportunity to enrol in school.

    “Education is a right and not a privilege and it is compulsory in this part of the world,” the governor said.

     

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