Posted by News Express | 15 March 2017 | 1,907 times
The Nigerian military and Boko Haram have disagreed sharply over claims by the terrorist group that it has not been decimated as claimed by the Federal Government and remains in a place in Nigeria that the military could not “locate and recapture.”
Responding to the claims made by Boko Haram in a video released on Tuesday, the Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sani Usman, challenged the terrorists to mention the part of Nigeria where they are hiding, which cannot be recovered by the military. “They are of no consequence. We are focusing on stabilisation and consolidation of our counter-terrorism and counter insurgency operations. Now we have gone beyond the terrorists’ propaganda. Let them mention the part of Nigerian territory they are holding or hiding,” Usman said.
The seven-minute video purportedly showed the execution of three alleged Federal Government spies on Boko Haram’s operations in Nigeria’s North-East. It shows the beheading of one and shooting of two others with a Kalashnikov rifle.
Boko Haram in the video accused the three men of working for the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) to infiltrate the group. It displayed a large cache of high-grade military weapons, including what appeared to be anti-aircraft missiles.
The video, which was in Hausa and Arabic, was believed to have been released by Abubakar Shekau, leader of one of the two Boko Haram factions.
Meanwhile, the Federal High Court, Abuja Division, yesterday ordered seven Boko Haram members, who allegedly killed 11 foreigners in 2012 to be remanded in Kuje prisons.
Justice John Tsoho gave the order after they were arraigned on 11-count charge of conspiracy, terrorism and murder. They pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The Judge disagreed with the prosecution that the defendants should remain in the custody of Department of State Security Service (DSS).
He said the law provides that the defendants should be remanded in prisons custody, stressing that it was the responsibility of the Federal Government to ensure that adequate security is provided at the prisons.
The defendants – Mohammed Usman, a.k.a Khalid Al-barnawi and leader of Boko Haram splinter group, Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis Sudan, also known as Ansaru, Mohammed Bashir Saleh, Umar Mohammed Bello, a.k.a Abu Azzan, Mohammed Salisu, a.k.a Datti, Yakubu Nuhu, a.k.a Bello Maishayi, Usman Abubakar, a.k.a Mugiratu, and Halima Haliru, were said to have, between 2011 and 2013, in Sokoto, Kebbi, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe and other states in the Northern part of Nigeria, engaged in acts of terrorism.
The matter has been adjourned till April 11 for commencement of trial.
•Adapted from a Guardian report.
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