Court jails Boko Haram member involved in Chibok schoolgirls' abduction

Court jails Boko Haram member involved in Chibok schoolgirls' abduction

Yahaya is a prime suspect in the militant group's attacks in Chibok.

Haruna Yahaya, 35, is the first member of the group to be sentenced for playing a part in the mass abduction. The judge, however, dismissed the accused's plea for mercy on grounds of his physical disability, local news website Daily Post reported.

Justice ministry spokesman Salihu Isah confirmed to news agency AFP that Yahaya was given a 15-year jail sentence.

Yahya was charged to court for his participation in the kidnap of over 200 girls from Chibok Local Government Area of Borno State and Gabsuri town in the Damboa Local Government of the state in 2014.

Fifty-seven escaped in the immediate aftermath.

On Saturday, the government announced the release of three university lecturers and 10 women, who were abducted a year ago, from captivity of militants.

This week, some 700 of the suspected militants are due to appear before the judges in Kanji, according to sources at the court.

Two of the five counts preferred against him attracted death penalty but the judge said he chose to impose lesser sentences after taking into consideration the age of the convict and the fact that he must have been exposed to "excessive and consistent religious indoctrination" which made him to be easily pliable.

Four judges in a Federal High Court in the Nigerian state of Niger are sitting in the special courts established for the prosecution of 1,000 Boko Haram suspects now held in a military cantonment in the state.

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