Boko Haram Leader, Abubakar Shekau Escaped Arrest

Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the Boko Haram terrorist group, has once again escaped from being captured by men of the Nigerian Army, according to BBC. In a recent operation by the Army, Shekau escaped his hideout in Sambisa forest, leaving behind some of his clothing, chewing stick and a pistol. 

A source from the vigilante force working with the Army told the BBC that the troops were very close to the hideout of the factional leader of Boko Haram in Sambisa when an order to retreat forced them to halt operation.

The Nigerian Army has recently ordered that the sect leader be arrested either dead or alive, with a bounty of $8,000 place on him. "They ran away I saw them with my naked eyes,” the source said, adding that the militants are still armed. Around 200 to 300 Boko Haram fighters are in operation, according to a commander who defected just after the attack. 

The army repeatedly claim they have caught, killed or injured Shekau. President Muhammadu Buhari also claimed a year ago that Boko Haram had been technically defeated.

475 people who were arrested on suspicion of being linked to the militant Islamist group were released because of lack of evidence to duly prosecute them. A young woman, who gave birth in detention three months ago, is among the group of women, children, elders and young men who were freed. 

It is unclear when she was arrested but some of those freed have been in military custody since 2010, when the militants launched a full-scale insurgency in the north-east to establish its version of Islamic rule.

A total of 205 suspects have so far been convicted in the mass trial launched by Federal Government some months ago. 

The convicts include a man identified as the mastermind of the abduction of 276 schoolgirls in the town of Chibok in 2014. Haruna Yahaya, 35, was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Friday for masterminding the abductions, which caused global outrage. 

This is in addition to a 15-year sentence he received earlier for taking part in the kidnappings. The judge ordered Yahaya to spend 30 years in prison.
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