Court Sentences Boko Haram Member To 60 Years In Prison
A Federal High Court sitting in Wawa, Niger State has sentenced a 22-year-old Boko Haram member, Abba Umar, to sixty years in prison.
While delivering judgement on Tuesday, the judge found Umar guilty of four terrorism-related charges.
On count one of being a member of the proscribed Boko Haram sect, the judge sentenced Umar to 15 years in prison.
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He is to serve 30 years for attempting to commit an act of terrorism and another 60 years in prison on count three for committing an act of terrorism on Bama community, Gwoza, and military barracks in Borno, where people were killed and arms and ammunition carted away.
The terrorist would also serve another 15 years in prison for receiving terrorism training, an offence punishable under section 7 of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act of 2013, and five years for failing to disclose information on Abubakar Shekau.
All sentences are to run concurrently.
The trial judge further ordered the prison authorities to ensure that the convict undergoes serious de-radicalisation of his belief while in custody.
During cross-examination, the convict did not show remorse as he claims to recognise only Shekau as the leader and not the present government in the country.
This, however, forced the prosecutor to demand a maximum punishment of death for the convict, which the defence counsel did not object to.
But the judge held that the court cannot shut its door of mercy and, therefore, cannot implement the maximum punishment.
The convict was arrested on May 27, 2014, while attempting to bomb Gombe Pilot Secondary School where the remote control of the bombs failed to function.
He was said to have been lured into the sect by his elder brother Ahmadu Umar.
He had also confessed to being a commander in the terrorist group and has about 100 subordinates under him.
Meanwhile, human rights group asked the Federal Government to ensure the mass trial of Boko Haram suspects meet international standards
The Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, said this in a statement by the Media Manager of the organisation Isa Sanusi.
The statement read: “While offering hope for many victims of Boko Haram’s terrible human rights abuses, including the Chibok girls, mass trials of this nature provide insufficient guarantees for fair trial and risk failing to realize justice.
“This is particularly so in this case, given that Amnesty International has previously documented how the security forces routinely rounded up and detained hundreds of young men as “Boko Haram suspects” with no evidence.
“The Nigerian authorities must do everything at their disposal to ensure that international standards for fair trials are met and that those suspected of crimes face justice. While it is a positive step that the trials are taking place in public, much more is needed to ensure a fair trial.
“A fair hearing can only be guaranteed if the defendants are provided with access to lawyers and, where necessary, interpreters. All suspects must also be given ample opportunity to mount a defence – a fundamental shortcoming of mass trials.”