The Federal High Court sitting in a judgement at the Wawa Cantonment last Friday set free about 475 Boko Haram suspects, just as they are to be sent to their state governments for proper rehabilitation.
Comrade Salihu Othman Isah, Special Adviser to the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice reports that the suspects were arrested at different states and detained at Wawa Cantonment, Kainji, Niger State.
He disclosed that their detention is based on the information that they belong to the proscribed terrorist group known as Boko Haram or that they concealed information about the group which they knew or believe to be of material assistance in preventing the commission of act of terrorism or securing apprehension, prosecution or conviction of members of Boko Haram sect.
However, the Prosecution Counsel could not charge them any offence due to lack of sufficient evidence against them. Therefore, the suspects were released on motion exparte pursuance of section 35 (4) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
The court also directed states to provide for the released persons, rehabilitation at any appropriate centre provided by the states before being released to their families.
Those suspects who are mentally deranged or challenged with their health are to be provided medical attention at any appropriate medical or other mental health facilities.
The states were also to provide appropriate training in the manner and for the period that the state deemed appropriate and reasonable.
Among the list of the group released was a pathetic case of a female suspect, Lubabatu Yakubu who was arrested in 2014 by the officials of the Department of Security Services (DSS) in Numan town, Adamawa state, two days after marriage and divorced by her Boko Haram husband.
Lubabatu was accused of her affiliation with Boko Haram husband.
Another suspect, a young mother cuddling her three months old baby, Mariam Mohammed, a Shua Arab from Borno State was released. She was lured into the Boko Haram sect and taken to Sambisa forest by her elder brother and married off to his friend at eleven years old.
She was arrested by soldiers of the Joint Task Force (JTF) in 2014 while trying to escape the Boko Haram enclave in the Sambisa Forest.
Taye Hamza and Kehinde Hamza are both identical twins from Oyo State based in Bauchi State. They were amongst the lucky ones released.
The twins who are mechanic by profession were arrested in 2010 by the DSS at their workshop in Bauchi State for servicing a vehicle belonging to the dreaded Boko Haram member.
A 35 year old, Haruna Yahaya who was earlier sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for participating in the abduction of over 200 schoolgirls from Chibok, Borno State on Monday, was on Friday handed down an additional 15 years jail term.
On Friday, the court sentenced him to additional 15 years imprisonment for being a mastermind of the said abduction.
The presiding judge ordered that the Monday’s and Friday’s sentences imposed on Yahaya, who hails from Potiskum in Yobe State, would run consecutively.
It implies that the convict will have to spend 30 years in prison.