The Federal Government has concluded plans to prosecute 5, 800 suspected members of the Boko Haram sect.
Chioma Onuegbu, Head, Complex Casework Group and Deputy Director of Prosecutions, Federal Ministry of Justice, disclosed this in Abuja at the weekend during a media engagement by the Wayamo Foundation.
The forum is a media engagement for justice and accountability and for promoting understanding of the work of the International Criminal Court at The Hague.
Onuegbu said the ministry had vetted the case files of 800 out of 1, 000 suspects whom prima facie evidence were established against in 2019.
She said the heightened attacks in the northeast and the COVID-19 pandemic affected the commencement of the trials in 2019 and 2020.
She said the military recently sent in another 5, 000 new case files from Maiduguri, Borno State, which the ministry was now working hard to process.
She added that before the halt in the proceedings, the charges had been filed and served on 280 suspects and the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria, the justice department providing free legal services to the suspects, to enable its officials meet the suspects at their detention facilities in Maiduguri and prepare for their defence.
Onuegbu noted that out of the said 1,000 case files, 170 suspects were recommended for release for lack of evidence to prosecute them.
She said the ministry had already concluded similar cases in October 2017, February 2018 and June 2018 and is getting set for the fourth phase of the trials.
“Presently, efforts are been made by the military to move the relevant inmates (whose charges are ready) to another safe location for the prosecutions to commence and as soon as that is done, we shall inform you to join us,” she said.