The Nigerian Army has handed over 348 detainees to the Borno State government after they had been cleared of belonging to the Boko Haram terrorists group.
The Nigerian Army had earlier released 565 women comprising 366 breastfeeding babies, 149 mothers and 62 under-aged children evacuated by the Nigerian Army from camps operated by Boko Haram insurgents in different parts of Borno state.
Brig.-Gen. Victor Ezugwu, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division of the Nigerian Army handed over the detainees to Gov.Kashim Shettima at a ceremony in Maiduguri on Saturday.
Ezugwu explained that the detainees were arrested in various anti-terrorism operations of the Nigerian Army in Borno.
He said that they were being handed over after a painstaking process to ensure that they had no relationship with the terrorists group.
“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 has put in place measures to guarantee societal and individual fundamental human rights.
“The process ensures that those captured while participating actively or passively in creating sorrow and mayhem in the society are screened out for necessary judicial recourse,” Ezugwu said.
According to him, those suspected members of the group who have been found innocent are periodically released to continue with their normal lives as law abiding citizens of Nigeria.
“The overall goal is that the just and innocent citizens of Nigeria do not suffer injustice.”
Ezugwu said that the detainees were made up of 114 adult male, 107 adult female and 127 children.
“The Nigerian Army have dully investigated all the suspects who were arrested at various camps and found 348 of them innocent of involvement in terrorism.
“They are made up of 114 cleared male suspects, 107 cleared female suspects and 127 children,” he said.
Ezugwu said that out of the 127 children 115 are under aged, while 12 are aged 11 years and above.
Receiving them, Shettima thanked the Nigerian Army for the gesture and promised to rehabilitate them so they could continue with their lives. (NAN)