Boko Haram suspect convicted for Chibok schoolgirls kidnapping

Nigeria has convicted the first person to be brought to justice for participating in the kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls from the north-eastern town of Chibok in 2014, Reuters reported.

Haruna Yahaya, 35, from the militant Islamist group Boko Haram, was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment as part of a mass trial for his role in the abduction, the justice ministry confirmed on Wednesday.

While confessing to his role in the kidnapping, Yahaya claimed he had been forced to join Boko Haram before further admitting that he had lost count of the number of people he had killed.

He is just one of more than 50 convicted since the trials of hundreds of suspects resumed on Monday.

“It’s going according to plan with over 50 cases dispensed in two days,” said ministry of justice spokesperson Salihu Othman Isah.

Another suspect Abba Umar, 22, was jailed for 60 years on Tuesday.

The justice ministry called him an “unremorseful sect commander” who “remained adamant to his ideology despite all the efforts by the defence counsel to convince him to have a change of heart”.

In 2017 45 Boko Haram suspects were convicted and jailed, 468 released while 28 were remanded for trial.

Since Boko Haram launched its insurgency in 2009, in a bid to establish an Islamic state, more than 20 000 people have been killed and two million displaced.


Gary Murambiwa
the authorGary Murambiwa