The Nigerian army has declared that it has released about 1,271 detainees who were priorly apprehended for allegedly being linked to the jihadist sect, Boko Haram.
The 1,271 Boko Haram detainees have been cleared of any link to Boko Haram. This was revealed by the General Officer, Commanding 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Maiduguri, Brig.-Gen. Victor Ezugwu, at a forum for the reintegration of children associated with armed forces or armed groups in Maiduguri, Borno state.
Brig.-Gen. Victor Ezugwu who was represented by Col. Yusuf Ali added that most of the Boko Haram detainees released were women and children.
“The Nigerian Army gives utmost priority to the rights of detainees especially women and children.
“We always try to fast track investigation to determine their fate, while those found innocent were released without delay.
“Consequently, between February and October this year, we have had five releases.
“In February 135 persons comprising mainly women and children were released, 204 were released in May, while the remaining three releases were carried out in September and October”.
In August the Nigerian government came under fire for maltreatment of freed Boko haram detainees. Amnesty International reported that almost 150 people had died in prisons at the Giwa Barracks alone.
However, Brig.-Gen. Victor Ezugwu’s speech highlighted the improvements of the prisons and consequently the improvement in the welfare of the detainees. According to him, some of the freed detainees would have chosen to remain detained rather than be transferred to IDPs due to the good treatment received in detention.
According to the statement, some of the facilities improved include feeding, health care, decongestion of cells, respect for detainees rights, sanitation, and personal hygiene.