File photo: Non- Boko Haram suspects released by the army in 2019

File photo: Non- Boko Haram suspects released by the army in 2019

By Sumaila Ogbaje/Abuja

The Nigerian Army (NA) has clarified that the 1009 detainees released to Borno government were not Boko Haram fighters.

Brig.Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, Director, Army Public Relations slammed peddlers of the distorted report.

He said it was done to dampen troops’ morale and denigrate the Nigerian Army.

“It is an indisputable fact that the ongoing Counter Terrorism Counter Insurgency Operations (CTCOIN) in the North East has led to the arrest of several terrorism/insurgency suspects.

“These suspects have been held in custody, while undergoing profiling and further investigations by experts from the Joint Investigation Centre (JIC) and those who are found culpable are usually handed over to prosecuting agencies accordingly.

“Those who are not implicated in terrorism and insurgency are cleared and released to the state government for rehabilitation before they are reintegrated into the society.

“These cleared suspects are therefore not ex Boko Haram fighters, as peddled in the said online report and as the masterminds would want to impress on the public.

“A total of 1009 cleared suspects, not ex fighters, were therefore released after this rigorous process on Wednesday, July 14.,”he said

Nwachukwu said that the handing over of the cleared suspects was not shrouded in secrecy as it was witnessed by United Nations Humanitarian and government agencies in tandem with global best practice.

“The NA therefore urges the general public to discountenance this misinformation, as it is evidently a manipulation and distortion of the truth and reality of the event,” he said.