Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Judge Sentences Chibok Girls Abductor To 15 Years Imprisonment

The Federal High Court sitting in Wawa Cantonment, Kainji, Niger state, on Monday sentenced one Haruna Yahaya to 15 years behind bars. Yahaya, 35, was convicted after being found guilty of the terrorism charges filed against him by the federal government. He was found guilty of, among other things, complicity in the 2014 abduction of the 200 schoolgirls in Chibok.

Yahaya, who had pleaded guilty to the charge, had asked the court to temper justice with mercy, saying he was not given a choice by the terrorist group he confessed to being a member of, Boko Haram. With his crippled left arm and left leg in evidence, he asked the court to take into cognisance the fact that he was conscripted.“I was threatened that I would be killed if refused to join them,” he said.

According to him, he was in his shop when members of the proscribed sect forcefully inducted him into their group and made him join in their abduction of the Chibok girls. However, his pleas did not sway the four judges of the Federal High Court sitting in the special courts established by the court management to fast-track the trial of over 1,000 Boko Haram suspects currently held in the Wawa Cantonment.

The judges agreed with the prosecution which urged the court to convict the defendant as charged.“He was carrying out attacks and said he did not know the number of people he had killed,” the prosecution said. In his judgement, the judge said the would not be swayed by his handicap adding that he had a choice to do right and he chose not to. The judge thereafter sentenced the convict to 15 years imprisonment with Monday as the start date.

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