Army dismisses report on release of ex-Boko Haram fighters

The Nigerian Army (NA) has dismissed the report of alleged release and handover of over 1009 ex-Boko Haram fighters to the Borno State government.

Brig. Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, Director, Army Public Relations, in a statement on Thursday, described the publication as false.

Nwachukwu said the report also alleged that the event was shrouded in secrecy.

He said the report was obviously one of those attempts to dampen troops’ morale and denigrate the Nigerian Army, based on unsubstantiated reports and misinformation.

According to him, while the NA will not want to join issues with the masterminds of the false narrative, it is important to set the records straight.

“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.

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