104 Boko Haram suspects set for release

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By ESTHER ONYEGBULA & JONAH NWOKPOKU

LAGOS — About 104 suspected members of the Boko Haram sect, currently being held at the Kirikiri Minimum and Maximum prisons, Lagos, might soon be released.

Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North, Tanimu Turaki, disclosed this to newsmen, yesterday, when he led the committee on a visit to members of the sect in the prisons in Lagos State.

The visit, according to Turaki, who is also Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, is to interact with those who are being detained in connection with acts related to terrorism.

He said: “We have interacted with them and they have responded to us very sincerely and frankly.

Five of seven suspected terrorists arrested by  JTF  in connection with Last Sunday's attack on Eyn Church in Biu, paraded in Maiduguri, Borno on Thursday (21/6/12). NAN Photo

Five of seven suspected terrorists arrested by JTF in connection with  attack on Eyn Church in Biu, paraded in Maiduguri, Borno. NAN Photo

“I think I can say that we have been well informed about most of the issues that we are interested in, as a result of the interactions we have had with them.”

The Chairman explained that the committee will make appropriate recommendations to the government as far as the issue of their release or non-release is concerned.

Turaki said: “The issue of release usually is contingent upon certain conditions. We are more concerned, for now, with the release of vulnerable people. And in this group of vulnerable people we have those who the security agencies have not been able to pin anything on.

“We have seen those who the Director of Public Prosecution has advised that they be released. We have also seen some of them who security agencies themselves have conceded that they have not been able to make out any case against.”

The chairman further noted that with the committee’s interaction with more stakeholders, it had become more informed.

He said: “We have been given suggestions all of which will assist us in ultimately making our recommendations to government and I can assure you that the committee is on top of the situation as far as the issue of dialogue is concerned.”

He also noted that there will be impact assessment at the end of the day, “because we have been asked to study the situation carefully and to make appropriate recommendations for victim support.”

“I assure you that Nigerians will be very proud of this committee at the end of the day.”

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