By Ndahi Marama, Maiduguri
The federal government will soon commence the arraignment of 5,000 suspected Boko Haram insurgents held across various detention facilities in the country.
Aliyu Abubakar, director-general of Legal Aid Council, said this on Tuesday during a visit to Babagana Zulum, governor of Borno state.
Abubakar said the inmates were detained at Giwa Barracks, Maiduguri and Kainji correctional facilities, among others, over their alleged involvement in the insurgency.
He said the trial would be conducted by the office of the attorney-general of the federation (AGF), office of the national security adviser (NSA) in collaboration with the theatre command of operation Lafiya Dole.
He added that the Legal Aid Council was mandated to provide defence for the inmates.
Abubakar noted that the council has so far interviewed about 283 of the inmates to ascertain the nature of the crimes they committed.
“As their defence council, we have to interview them from time to time to enable us to know their own part of the story,” he said.
“It so because regardless of the generous crimes they committed it is possible that out of hundreds, you may found out that one or two persons were innocent of the charges that they are being detained.
“It was necessary for them to be represented by counsel to make sure that the official fulfils all the requirement of the provisions of the law.
“All evidence must be presented against them before the court of the law so that those that were found guilty are prosecuted and face the consequences of their action.”
Abubakar said that regardless of the nature of the crimes they committed, “under our laws, they are innocent until proven guilty”.
He praised the efforts of operation Lafiya Dole in providing the council with access to its detention facility to meet the inmates.