Abu Dhabi Federal Court of Appeal in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has found Five Nigerians and a federal government official guilty for allegedly providing financial aid to the Boko Haram terrorist group in Nigeria.
The suspects were accused to have donated about $782,000 to the Boko Haram group between 2015 and 2016.
The suspects identified as Surajo Abubakar Muhammad, Saleh Yusuf Adamu, Ibrahim Ali Alhassan, AbdurRahman Ado Musa, Bashir Ali Yusuf and Muhammad Ibrahim Isa had first been found guilty by a lower court in the UAE.
They however filed an appeal and have now been found guilty by a higher court.
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The accused were said to have been apprehended between 16 and 17 April, 2017 and their homes searched with the search warrant issued by the National Security Prosecution office dated April 16, 2017.
They were all convicted in 2019 after facing charges of funding terrorists by facilitating the transfer of money from Dubai to Nigeria.
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According to reports, two of the convicts, Surajo Abubakar Muhammad and Saleh Yusuf Adamu were sentenced to life imprisonment while the others were sent on ten year’s imprisonment.
The first and the second accused were charged for joining the Boko Haram group in Nigeria knowingly, which is a crime punishable under Article 22/2 of the Federal Law No 7 of 2017 with regards to anti-terrorism punishable by death or life imprisonment.
The third, fourth, fifth and sixth accused were charged with assisting the terror group knowingly, which is a crime under Article 31, Clause 1 of the same law, and is punishable by life imprisonment or jail for not less than five years under the UAE law.
However, their family members have maintained the innocence of their relatives, saying that they were legitimate businessmen framed up for illegal activities they knew nothing about.
They were all discovered to be involved in the funding of Boko Haram terrorist group and their activities based on years of work and investigation by undercover agents.
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One of them, Alhaji Sa’idu who is allegedly based in Nigeria, is said to be a senior undercover Boko Haram member responsible for facilitating the group’s access to funds from its sponsors.
Also accused is one Alhaji Ashiru, who is said to be “a Nigerian government official” and also a senior undercover Boko Haram member who facilitated the transfer of misappropriated public funds to the Boko Haram group.
However, the office of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami when contacted on the matter, explained that the federal government was already aware of the development and have contacted the UAE government seeking records of proceedings but was yet to get feedback.
“Nigerian government has written firstly for copies of the proceedings, which will give us the opportunity to see whether justice was done or not. And on whether they have committed the crime, we requested to know who and who are involved so that the Nigerian government will know what to do next.
“Nigerian government is working but it doesn’t have the exclusive control, it has to rely on the information provided by UAE. So, it is not in control of the speed of response or action.
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“We are working on both the issues that they did not receive a fair hearing and that they were alleged to have supported Boko Haram activities,” information for the AGF’s office explained.
The Nigerian government added that further intelligence has been activated on the matter to discover other people that may be working with the suspected syndicates both within and outside the country in funding the Boko Haram terrorists.
“Since the relationship involves issues of money between Nigeria and UAE, the Nigerian government has equally instructed the existing agencies of government to embark on an investigation on that and we have gone far.
“We await further intelligence from the UAE, which has relevance to the conviction and trial in order to do what we can as a follow-up to take the next line of action,” the report said.
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Recalled that earlier this year, a popular Nigerian socialite, Hushpuppi whose real name is Ramon Olorunwa Abass was arrested in Dubai for stealing over N163 billion naira from various victims through internet scam.
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