The Nigerian Army has released 275 persons detained following suspicion of being involved in terrorist activities.
Forty-nine out of the detainees are women while 22 are minors. Two Nigeriens and two Cameroonians are also among those released.
Theatre Commander of the Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Hassan Umaru, handed over the detainees not found culpable to the Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, in a ceremony at the 7th Division Headquarters Maimalari Barracks.
“In line with the principles of equity, justice and fairness, we deem it fit to release them to their families.
“Their stay in detention has not been palatable due to restrictions imposed and loss of freedom. We see it as their contribution and sacrifice to the return of peace to our country,” he said
Governor Kashim Shettima noted that vindicating the detainees is a testimony to the professionalism of the Nigerian Army.
He urged the freed suspects to be worthy ambassadors of the fight against terrorism and insurgency.
The suspects were picked from various spots within and outside Maiduguri in different raids six months ago.
The former Chief of Army Staff, Kenneth Minimah, had in July 2015 released 182 suspects. 128 others were released in September 2015.
A total of 582 persons have so far been released from military detention facilities under the operation.
The Coordinator of the National Information Centre, Mr Mike Omeri, has announced government’s intention to thoroughly investigate five Chadians who were involved in the recent terrorists attack on Biu, Borno State.
Addressing a news conference in Abuja, Mr Omeri reaffirmed the Nigerian Government’s commitment to rescuing the schoolgirls who were abducted from Chibok town in April 2014.
He said that the Federal Government also remained committed to ensuring the security of all Nigerians and persons resident in the country.
Biu is the second largest town in Borno State where 42 insurgents including 15 Chadians were killed on Wednesday during a ground battle by the Military and the terrorists.
Also speaking at the conference, the Director, Search and Rescue of the National Emergency Management Agency, Air Commodore Charles Odegbade, disclosed that the agency was currently providing humanitarian service for 981,416 Internally Displaced Persons in Nigeria with 107,997 of them living in IDP camps.
The National Human Rights Commission said on Thursday, June 26 that it had received a petition from the members of the Jigawa Forum over the arrest and detention of 486 persons suspected to be Boko Haram members in Abia State.
In a statement by the commission’s Chief Press Officer, Fatimah Mohammed, the group, led by one Alhaji Ahmed Wanga, demanded an immediate release or prosecution of the detainees as they observed that the suspects had been detained for 10 days running.
The Executive Secretary of the commission, Prof. Bem Angwe, received the petition from the group on behalf of the NHRC.
The statement quoted Angwe as urging Nigerians to support the security agencies in their bid to combat insurgency, but also advised the security operatives “not to hide under the cover of security to infringe on the rights of the citizens.”
He also urged the security agencies to ensure that arrested persons were subjected to a screening process to separate those who for justifiable reasons were suspects, from those going about their normal businesses.
Prof. Angwe commended the group for not taking the laws into their hands but rather approached the commission which would ensure that the rights of the detained persons are enforced in line with the mandate.
The helmsman of NHRC also used the opportunity to reiterate that every Nigerian is entitled to his fundamental rights to freedom of movement and that “any attempt to breach this constitutional provision constitutes a setback to democracy” and therefore urged the relevant authorities to ensure that no citizen is detained unduly.
The Chief Executive Officer of NHRC described the current insecurity in the country as unfortunate and disturbing.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) says it is launching a probe into last week’s gun battle in Abuja between security agents and suspected members of the Boko Haram sect.
About nine persons were said to have been killed with no fewer than 12 persons arrested during a raid by a combined team of soldiers and State Security Service (SSS) operatives on an uncompleted building in Abuja believed to have been inhabited by suspected terrorists.
Residents around the area said the uncompleted building where the attack took place was inhabited by homeless artisans and petty traders who could not afford the high rent in Abuja.
The NHRC alleges that the military and the SSS are trying to cover up the extra-judicial killing in Abuja by planting arms in the building to justify the official claim that it was a boko haram’s ammunition dump.
As part of the NHRC investigation into the controversial incident, the agency says, its officials will be interviewing witnesses and residents of the area as citizens, overwhelmed by the ordeals of the survivors, are now asking the security agencies to come clean about what “truly happened at the scene of the attack.