Secret trial of thousands of Boko Haram suspects to start in Nigeria

The trial of over 2,000 Boko Haram suspects has begun in Nigeria. The trial will be held before judges in Kainji, a town in north central region of Nigeria. 

BBC reports that some civil rights activist have raised concerns about the federal government's decision to carry out a secret trial for the suspects. It was also gathered that four different judges begun trial on the cases at a military centre in Kainji. 

he minister of justice, Abubakar Malami, in a previous statement had said that 1,670 people will be tried in different courts across Nigeria. Also, the trial of 651 other suspects being held at Giwa Barracks in Maiduguri, the capital city of Borno will commence later. Reuters reports that a former US state department analyst and a specialist on Nigeria matters, Matthew Page said the trial process is a very small step in a positive direction. 

Page said it is important to know that many of the suspects who have been held for years in military custody without access to lawyers have also never appeared before a judge or court for arraignment. He said: “There are good reasons to believe that large numbers of the detainees have very little or no connection at all to the group." Also, the Amnesty International in a recent report said military forces have succeeded in detaining suspects arbitrarily. 

The international agency in its 2015 report said over 20,000 Boko Haram were being held in different military facilities in the northeast.

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