Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, has called on the federal government to look into complaints made by the families of six Nigerians sentenced to jail in the United Arab Emirates for allegedly funding Boko Haram terrorists.
A UAE court had reportedly sentenced two of the six Nigerians to life imprisonment, while the four others were handed 10-year jail term each for transferring close to N300 million ($782,000) to members of the terrorist group.
According to reports, the convicts sent the sum in 17 tranches through bureau de change operations between 2015 and 2016.
An Abu Dhabi appeal court was said to have upheld their earlier conviction by a lower court.
Zulum, in a statement posted on his official Facebook page, commended the UAE for convicting the suspects over the transactions.
The governor said he was, “glad that for the first time in 11 years, there appears to be headway on tracking some alleged financiers of Boko Haram’s activities which has left thousands of citizens killed, millions displaced and private property and public institutions worth 9 billion dollars destroyed in Borno, other parts of the northeast and Nigeria at large.”
In the statement signed by his media aide, Isa Gusau, Zulum however noted that the families of the suspects had alleged “foul play” in the convictions, insisting that the convicts were innocent of the charges.
Zulum, “urged the Federal Government to consider setting up a multi-stakeholder team with trusted representatives from the Federal Ministries of Justice, Foreign Affairs, the Nigerian Intelligence Agency, NIA, the Defence Intelligence Agency, DIA, the Multinational Joint Task Force in the Lake Chad, and the ECOWAS Intergovernmental Action Group on Terrorism Financing in West Africa, GIABA, to assiduously work with the UAE Government to look into the issues raised by families crying foul play, and more importantly, to follow-up on the findings by the UAE with the hope of using the intelligence, if authenticated, to expand search on other Boko Haram sponsors that may be helping in similar ways”.
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