Army frees 42 detained Boko Haram suspects

The Borno state government on Thursday received 42 suspected Boko Haram terrorists captured by the Nigerian army.

The military said the 42, after months and years in detention, were cleared of all suspicions following thorough investigations.

The military said three of the 42 released suspects were foreigners from Chad, Cameroon and Burkina Faso.

The deputy director, Defence Information, Sani Usman, a colonel, who handed the freed suspects over to Governor Kashim Shettima said they were arrested during various military raids.

Mr. Usman said each of the freed prisoners were given N100,000 to enable them continue with their normal lives as free citizens.

“We in the Nigeria army will continue to do our best in the ongoing fight against insurgency until we get rid of this problem,” he said.

Mr. Shetima commended the military for its magnanimity.

“We commend the fairness, equity and justice displayed by the Nigeria Armed Forces towards releasing anybody found not to be involved in these terrorist activities,” he said.

“Amongst them are students, tailors, mechanics, provision stores owners and of course, quite a handful of them are drivers. We have a moral obligation to ensure that these young men at this time of their lives are actively engaged. Along this line, I wish to direct the road maintenance agency to include those that are drivers as employed truck drivers, while those that are tailors should be engaged in sewing uniforms for students and pupils in line with our education transformation program.

“Those that are farmers should be given the resources to improve their farming; while the traders would be given some token in addition to what the military gave them to boost their trade. The students among them should be assisted to return to school.”

Some of the freed prisoners had spent detention times ranging from three years, two years to some months. They were full of gratitude to get what one of them, a 300-level student of Chemistry, said was another chance at life.

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