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Nigerian Authorities say trial of Boko Haram suspects to start next month

Nigerian president Buhari

WEST AFRICA – Authorities in Nigeria say the government is planning to begin trying Boko Haram suspects jailed in military camps by next month.

According to the Nigerian justice ministry, the trials will be conducted speedily and handled fairly.

Officials in the justice ministry confirmed that the delay in the prosecution of the suspects has been due to logistical hitches and meagre interrogation.

A justice ministry statement read, “All is now set to begin the arraignment of suspected Boko Haram suspects in various detention facilities in the country.”

Adding, the trail beginning date is October 9 this year.

1,600 suspected Boko Haram detainees are expected to be prosecuted early next month, and judges who would “expeditiously” deal with the cases have already been selected.

A spokesman for the Nigerian administration says Justice Minister Abubakar Malami has designated government prosecutors. Accordingly, the country’s Legal Aid Council will provide defense counsels for the suspects.

The prosecution will involve the trial of Khalid al-Barnawi, a powerful leader of the moribund Boko Haram offshoot, Ansaru, accused of abducting and murdering several foreign workers.

Boko Haram, an Islamic terrorism sect seeks to impose a strict Islamic legal system in Nigeria’s Muslim north, has murdered an estimated 21,000 people and drove some 2.6 million people into refugee life since 2009.

 

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Dave Okonjie

Dave Okonjie is a public affairs analyst, researcher and senior issues correspondent.

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