The Federal Government declares that it will soon begin the trial of 5,000 suspected Boko Haram members who are in several detention facilities across the nation.
The Director General of the Legal Aid Council, Aliyu Abubakar, gave the guarantee during a meeting with the Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, at the Government House, Maiduguri on Tuesday.
He pointed out Giwa Barracks, Maiduguri, Kainji Correctional facilities, among the places where the suspects are being imprisoned over their alleged involvement in the activities of the Boko Haram group.
Abubakar, who was received by the Borno Deputy Governor, Alhaji Usman Kadafur, as the Governor was not available to receive him, stated that the trial would be led by the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation, Office of the National Security Advisers in collaboration with the Theatre Command Operation Lafiya Dole, while the Legal Aid Council has been instructed to offer defence for the prisoners.
He clarified that the legal aid team had so far interrogated 283 suspects as part of efforts to establish their involvement in terrorism and understand the nature of the crime they carried out.
“As their defence counsel, we have to interview them from time to time to enable us know their own part of the story. It is so because regardless of the crimes they committed, it is possible that out of hundreds, you may find out that one or two persons are innocent.
“It is necessary for them to be represented by this council to make sure that all the requirements of the law are fulfilled. All evidence must be presented against them before the court of the law so that those found guilty would be prosecuted. In as much as everybody is aware of the nature of the crime they have committed, under our laws, they are innocent until proven guilty,” he stated.
Abubakar commended the leadership of Operation Lafiya Dole for giving the legal team access to its detention facility to meet the prisoners and relate with them.
He stated that the new changes made in the military leadership would evolve into progress in the pursuit to put an end to insurgency and banditry in the nation.
Governor Zulum declared that the government is prepared to partner with the Federal Government to allow it accomplish its mandate.
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