JTF Insist On Special Courts For Boko Haram Suspects

Military authority in Nigeria on Saturday said it will approach the government to establish special courts for the trial of suspected members of the Boko Haram militant sect arrested in many cities and communities in the northern parts of the country.
Air Commodore Ademola Onitiju, the deputy director for Civil- Military Relations at Defense Headquarters, told reporters in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, that the headquarters will constitute a strong panel of investigators to investigate those arrested in connection with several bomb attacks and killings by Boko Haram militants.

"The investigators will separate the wheat from the chaffs. I mean those that evidences do not link them with the various attacks will be released and possibly rehabilitated while those who have cases to answer will be tried in court. We may have to approach those in authority to establish special courts to try the accused," he said.

Commodore Onitiju said the Civil-Military Relations department from the defense headquarters was in Maiduguri to meet the locals, residents, religious and community leaders with a view to strengthening relationship with them.

He said the operations of the military-led Joint Task Force (JTF) deployed to the troubled city and other northern states of the country may have affected residents in different ways but nevertheless solicited for their cooperation.

"We need your support, we want you to see us as your people because we did not force ourselves here. We're here because we cannot allow terrorists to take over the country. We need information from you to help us succeed," Onitiju said.

He also claimed the task force did not kill some of the suspected members of the Islamic militia deliberately, saying some of the killings occurred during exchange of fire.

These sect members whose activities have been jeopardizing the peace of our nation are our compatriots. 

We do not intend to kill anybody and in fact, the Nigerian soldiers were not trained to kill its citizens but some of the terrorists died in the course of confrontation with our men," the Air Commodore said.
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