With the stage set for another round of trial of detained insurgents, the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has said that over 500 Boko Haram terrorists have so far been convicted by the federal government.
The DHQ said that the federal government has intensified the prosecution of Boko Haram Terrorists and Islamic State in West Africa (BHT/ISWAP). It added that another set of the insurgents would soon be arraigned for trial.
In a statement it issued yesterday in Abuja, the DHQ said that “it is also expedient to state that the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) has continued to prosecute BHT/ISWAP suspects in courts of competent jurisdiction and over 500 terrorists have so far been convicted.
The acting director of Defence Information, Brig-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, who signed the statement, said that “the next round of prosecution of another batch of terrorism suspects is due to commence shortly. The Defence Headquarters reiterates its commitment to ensuring well-motivated, trained and equipped armed forces that is professionally responsive to national security commitments.”
Also yesterday, the military dismissed the alleged recruitment of de-redicalised Boko Haram ex-fighters into the Nigerian military.
Brig-Gen. Nwachukwu described the information being peddled on the social media as false and misleading and appealed to Nigerians to disregard it in its entirety.
He said: “DHQ wishes to state that the claims are not only bereft of truth, but laced with mediocrity emanating from poorly researched and uninformed position.
“Contrary to the claims, no Boko Haram ex-fighter has been recruited into the Nigerian military and no such plan is in the offing. The de-radicalisation, rehabilitation and reintegration initiative is a federal government programme conducted under the auspices of ‘Operation Safe Corridor’ as a non-kinetic operation.
“Nigeria’s de-radicalisation model is a very effective one, targeted at low risk combatants and has become a classical example in the Lake Chad Basin region and West Africa,” he said.
The defence spokesperson hinted that over 250 repentant insurgents, who willingly abandoned their struggle and surrendered to federal troops had been de-radicalised, rehabilitated and re-integrated into the society.
He explained that Nigeria’s de-radicalisation model was in tandem with global standard as being done in Algeria, Colombia, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, where persons involved in violent extremism have been de-radicalised and rehabilitated.
“So far in Nigeria, the de-radicalised ex-fighters are doing well in their respective communities, as no adverse report has been recorded against them by Operation Safe Corridor’s monitoring unit.
“There has not been report of molestation or harassment of any sort against them by members of the communities where they are resettled.
“As a matter of verifiable fact, the reintegrated ex-fighters are doing well in their various endeavours and are positively impacting on their respective communities,” the DHQ said.