Amnesty voices doubts about secret Boko Haram trials

Amnesty voices doubts about secret Boko Haram trials

- Amnesty International has spoken on the mass trials of Boko Haram suspects

- Osai Ojigho, amnesty’s Nigeria’s director, said the trials took place behind closed doors

- Ojigho also said there is a concern because the media or the public was not given access

Amnesty International on Wednesday, October 11, said it had ''huge concerns'' about the mass trials of Boko Haram suspects, with press and the public banned from the hearings on security grounds.

Guardian reports that the proceedings began this week at four civilian courts set up at a military base in Kainji, in central Niger state, with 1,669 suspects due to appear before judges.

Osai Ojigho, amnesty’s Nigeria’s director, said the trials “should provide a much-needed opportunity to deliver justice” for those affected by the long-running conflict.

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Ojigho said: ''However, the fact the trials are taking place behind closed doors, with no access for the media or the public, raises huge concerns. Public hearings are crucial for protecting an individual’s right to a fair trial and due process.”

Three hundred suspects were officially remanded in custody for 90 days on Tuesday, October 9, while one defendant was transferred for trial elsewhere.

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It was learnt that the rights groups have repeatedly accused Nigeria’s military of arbitrarily arresting thousands of civilians since the start of the Islamist insurgency in 2009.

Meanwhile, NAIJ.com had reported that the trial commenced before some judges at a military centre in Kainji town.

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Source: Naija.ng

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