Posted by News Express | 13 February 2016 | 2,900 times
The Nigerian military has released 275 suspected Boko Haram terrorists to the Borno State Government after thorough screening and investigations established their innocence, the Media centre of Operation LAFIYA DOLE said yesterday.
“Investigation carried out revealed that 275 among the suspected detainees were found innocent and had no link whatsoever with terrorism. Out of the total 275; 142 were males, 49 females, while 22 were underaged, 50 female children, and 4 foreigners. The foreigners include 2 Nigeriens and 2 Cameroonians. However, 8 others found to have criminal cases were transferred to the Nigerian Police for further investigation,” a statement by the war media centre said.
It explained that the cleared suspects were allowed to go home “as part of the efforts of the Nigerian military towards ensuring equity, fairness and rule of law.”
Providing further retails, the statement said: “His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Borno State, Honourable Kashim Shettima, who received the cleared and released suspects, thanked the military for the justice, equity and fairness accorded the cleared suspects which he said is an indication of professionalism and respect for human rights by the military contrary to insinuations from different quarters accusing the military of extra judicial killings, arbitrary detention and dehumanisation of citizens. Governor Shettima solicits the support and cooperation of the citizenry towards bringing insurgency to an end.
“Earlier before the formal handing over of the cleared suspects, the Theatre Commander Operation LAFIYA DOLE, Major General Hassan Umaru, in his remarks expressed delight with the exercise and congratulated the released detainees. According to him, the occasion will no doubt reassure Nigerians and indeed all well meaning people that no individual will be unjustly and unduly incarcerated by the military in course of the fight against terrorism and insurgency. General Hassan also used the medium to solicit for greater understanding and cooperation of all in the ongoing war against terror. He urged the released detainees to be good ambassadors and also clarify any misconception as to the military's conduct, modus operandi and respect for human rights.
“The General Officer Commanding 7 Division, Brigadier General Victor Ezugwu, in his vote of thanks applauded the troops of the Division serving in of Operation LAFIYA DOLE for the gallantry exhibited in the fight against terrorism. He also thanked the investigative team who have done a thorough job of screening and investigation of the suspects.
“Highlights of the occasion included presentation of clothings and cash gifts to the released suspects by His Excellency the Governor of Borno State assisted by His Deputy and Theatre Commander.
“The occasion was attended by members of the Borno State Executive Council, Local Government Chairmen, State Commissioner of Police, Comptroller of Immigration Services, Principal Staff Officers of 7 Division, Operation LAFIYA DOLE and soldiers. Also in attendance were opinion and religious leaders IN Borno State and members of the Civilian Joint Task Force.”
•Photo shows Boko Haram suspects prior to screening.
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