The 7 Division of the Nigerian Army in Maiduguri on Thursday freed 42 persons comprising foreigners and Nigerian citizens, who were among many detained for allegedly being members of the dreaded Boko Haram Islamic sect.
The foreigners released included a Chadian, a Cameroonian and a Burkinabe.
The division said that the detainees were apprehended at different times and locations over suspicion of having connections to the extremist group.
The spokesperson of the division, Sani Usman, a Colonel, who handed the released detainees to the Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima, said the military had discovered that the suspects had nothing in common with the terrorist group.
“The Nigerian Army has for sometime now being fighting terrorism in the country. During this period some suspected terrorists were arrested and detained. However after being investigated, the 42, which included three foreigners who were found innocent are now freed,”he said.
“These detainees were released after being cleared of belonging to the Boko Haram terrorists group”.
Usman said that security agencies had done thorough investigations into the allegations levied against the detainees and found out that they had no direct or indirect contact with the dreaded sect.
The spokesman said that the division had given the sum of N100,000 to each of the 39 released Nigerians to return to their respective homes.
He appreciated the state government and the residents for their supports in the fight against terrorism.
Responding, governor Shettima who appreciated the division for granting freedom to the suspects, assured all relevant authorities that he would help in sending the three foreigners to their respective countries.
The governor also gave an unspecified sum of money to the suspects, as he ordered the state head of service, Bukar Yakubu, to place some of them who can sew on the pay roll of the state as tailors.
“For those of them who are tailors by trade, we will employ them to sew school uniforms for our students as we flag off free uniform to our students,” he. said.
“Those who can drive will be employed in the state Road Maintenance Agency as drivers,” Shettima added.
The governor also said he would help the students among them to complete their education.