…as commander’s wife, Zainab Idris, bags 4 years jail term
The special courts designated to trial terrorism related cases sitting at the Wawa Military Cantonment in Kainji, Niger State, has sentenced 113 Boko Haram members to jail over their involvement in acts of terrorism.
The defendants who were sentenced to various jail terms were arraigned by the Federal government, on various charges ranging from membership of the proscribed Boko Haram group, concealing information vital to security agencies, providing support to the sect, participating in acts of terrorism which resulted in the deaths of many persons.
Those sentenced include one Kabiru Mohammed from Kaban-Magadan, in Funtua, Katsina state. He was accused of receiving training in the use of explosive and other terrorism items. He was also accused of participating in series of attacks in Bama, Konduga, Baga in Borno State and Damaturu in Yobe state which resulted in lots of deaths in the two states.
According to him, he joined the sect in 2013 and rose to become a leader. He was said to have led others in carrying out attacks as well as instructing them to carry out attacks on people and communities.
Mohammed, who disclosed that he voluntarily joined Boko Haram, said at a time he became tired of the kind of life he was leading and threw away his gun and ran to Katsina state, his home town.
He was arrested in 2015 at a motor park in Katsina.
He pleaded guilty to all the 7-count charge and was consequently sentenced to 30 years imprisonment with hard labour on each of the counts, which are to run concurrently from the day of his arrest.
Next is one Adamu Mohammed, 22 years old from Gombe State, who was charged with the murder of six people as well as throwing a bomb at a market place. While he admitted to killing six persons through the use of a shot gun, he however claimed he threw the bomb in a river and not in a market place.
He was sentenced to 25 full calendar years with hard labour in a maximum security prison, without an option of fine.
Banzana Yusuf, from Kano State, on his part bagged 20 years for his role in the planning and kidnapping of the Chibok School girls in 2014.
So also is 25 years old Shetima Modu, arraigned on a 4-count charge of engaging in terrorism activities.
He admitted participating in attacks on a church in Mala village as well as another attack in Gonuri village where seven people were killed.
One Sabo Kyari Mohammed, who was described by the Department of State Service (DSS) as a “strong member of Boko Haram”, however bagged a jail term of five full calendar years.
One of the charges against him includes providing surveillance for the group and participating in the attack known as “operation point and kill” in his village, Musau in Borno State.
He was arrested by men of the Nigerian Army in Jos, Plateau State along with his wife and two children.
In handing down the sentence, the trial judge stated that, though the defendant being a first time offender, the court ordinarily ought to have showed him mercy in the judgment, but, “due to the carnage and wanton destruction of lives their action caused society, he is to serve a five full calendar years imprisonment.
“This is to serve as a deterrent to himself and others like him “, the judge held.
Also sentenced is Zainab Idris, wife of Boko Haram commander, Babawo Idris.
Zainab was arrested in 2014 with her two children, while on her way to join her husband in Sambisa Forest.
Her husband, popularly known as Idoko or Nagada was number 156 on the military’s wanted list before his arrest last September.
The court sentenced her to four years imprisonment for being a member of a proscribed group.
However, the court held that having been in custody since 2014, it is possible that she has served her jail term and consequently ordered that she be released.
The judge, in addition ordered that she be taking to a rehabilitation center, “for de-radicalization, and monitored under strict surveillance to avoid going back to Boko Haram”.
The judge advised her to learn a trade at the center so as to become useful to herself, her children and the society.
However, the case of a notorious member of the sect, Mohammed Zakariya, also known as “Butcher”, could not be taken on the grounds that he was mentally sick.
The court consequently ordered that he be taken to a psychiatric hospital for treatment and adjourned till November 14 for his arraignment.
The special sitting of the court, which held between Monday and Tuesday heard over a hundred cases.
A total of 111 persons were discharged or acquitted or had their cases struck out for lack of evidence to support the charges, while nine others were adjourned to Abuja.