Boko Haram Suspects

The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, ordered the Department of State Services (DSS) to detain 400 Boko Haram suspects for another 90 days at the Kainji detention camp.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the defendants have been in detention for about five years since they were arrested and the DSS had obtained a 90-day detention order in 2017.

Justice Babatunde Quadri in his ruling, granted the request made by the DSS through an ex parte motion argued by Mrs Geraldine Okafor.

The judge recalled that in 2017, the court granted the same request for the 90 days detention of the defendants.

He added that in spite of the nature of the alleged offence, the court would be conscious in granting a similar request in future.

He adjourned the matter until April 10 for hearing.

The court also ordered the Defence Headquarters to produce four other Boko Haram suspects; Mohammed Goni, Mohammed Maaji, Umar Ladan and Abubakar Musa before it on April 10 for trial.

Earlier, Okafor told the court that the DSS was seeking an extension on the grounds that the investigation into the terrorism offence allegedly committed by the defendants was still ongoing.

She said that the defendants were arrested about five years ago but investigation could not be completed because the alleged terrorism offence involved other countries like Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

She added that a joint task force had just been put in place by officials in Nigeria and those of the three countries to ensure early completion of investigation.

Okafor gave the assurance that the joint task force of the four countries would ensure that the investigation was concluded before April 10.

The trial of the defendants was to begin on Tuesday but Okafor told the court that the defence headquarters could not produce them for undisclosed reasons.

She said that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) wrote to the defence headquarters to produce the defendants in court, but there was no response.

Counsel to the defendants, Mr Samson Adula from the Legal Aid Counsel, pleaded with the court for an order to move them from Kainji detention camp to the DSS facility in the interest of justice.

Justice Quadri agreed with Adula and ordered that the four defendants be brought before him on April 10.

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