Independence Day: Nigerian Army Releases 348 ‘Cleared’ Boko Haram Suspects
Borno State capital Maiduguri today October 1st 2016 and Nigeria’s 56th independence anniversary was celebrated by the Army through the handing over of 348 "suspected" but "cleared" Boko Haram suspects to the Borno State Government.
The General Officer Commanding, 7 Division Nigeria Army, Victor Ezugwu, said the army had upon the directives of the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, investigated the suspects who were arrested at different locations in the state and those who were innocent were released unconditionally.
Some of the cleared suspects said it took the army over five months to screen them and establish that they did nothing wrong.
The Brigadier General, said “the review of the cases of terrorists suspects in our custody involves a painstaking and continuous process as directed by the Chief of Army Staff who emplaced measures to guarantee societal and individual human rights”.
Among those cleared were 114 males, 107 females, and 127 children. Among the children, 115 are minors.
The Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, who received the cleared Boko Haram suspects at the Ramat square civic centre, commended the army for ensuring that the suspects’ human rights were protected during their days in custody.
The Governor also pleaded with them to be law abiding, adding that the minors whose parents were not released will be taken to the state welfare center. He also appealed to them to embrace the rehabilitation programme put in place to enable them be reintegrated into the society again.
The released detainees were given different sums of money, though no official apology was issued, this however was not an issue as most of those freed were happy about the freedom.