‘Mass trials for Boko Haram suspects have begun’

First major prosecutions of Boko Haram suspects have started according to a report by Guardian.

The trials would be closed-door at a military base.

Other highlights from the report:

  • The defendants have all been arrested and detained since the start of the Islamist insurgency in the country’s northeast in 2009.
  • The Ministry of Justice announced in September that some 1,670 detainees would go on trial in a civilian court at a military base in Kainji, in Niger.
  • A further 651 others held at the Giwa barracks, Maiduguri, Borno, would then be tried.
  • But from all indications, the whole of today (Monday) will be used for administrative purposes,” a source said on condition of anonymity.
  • It’s just about sorting out the record of the suspects to determine who is going to stand trial today and those who will be tried later. The trials will be conducted on an individual basis. Of course, where some suspects are accused of committing a particular crime, they will be tried in a group.
  • In eight years, only 13 people have been put on trial and just nine convicted, according to the government in Abuja. But many of the detainees have been held in custody for years without access to a lawyer or ever having appeared before a judge.

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