The Federal High Court sitting in Dawaki, Abuja, on Monday, convicted four Boko Haram financiers.
They are Modu Aisami, Zana Zarama, Umar Mohammed, and Bunu Kame.
The office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) disclosed this in a statement on Monday.
The AGF’s Special Assistant on Communication and Publicity, Kamarudeen Ogundele, said the prosecution team led by the AGF, Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), secured the convictions in separate cases before Justice Binta Nyako and Justice Emeka Nwite.
He said the defendants pleaded guilty to the charges and begged the court for leniency.
“The defence counsel was led by the Director, Criminal Justice in Legal Aid Council, F. A. Bakre.
“According to the charge filed by the Director of Public Prosecutions of the Federation, M. B. Abubakar, Aisami provided funds for the terrorist group by buying food products from the group, having reasonable grounds to believe that the proceeds would be used to commit a terrorist act, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 13(1)(a)(ii) of the Terrorism Provision Amendment Act, 2013,” the statement said.
Ogundele said Justice Nyako convicted the defendant having pleaded guilty to counts 2 and 3.
“I hereby sentence the convict to 20 years imprisonment for each of the offences. They are to run concurrently,” Nyako was quoted to have ruled.
He said the judge also convicted Zarama and sentenced him to 10 years imprisonment for concealing the identity of a Boko Haram member, Modu Sulum.
Ogundele said Justice Nyako added that the jail terms should run from the day the convicts had been in custody.
Justice Nwite, in another trial, convicted the duo of Umar Mohammed and Bunu Kame and sentenced them to 10 years imprisonment.
Meanwhile, the AGF, also on Monday in Niger State, disclosed that the Federal Government secured a total of 366 convictions in the trial of Boko Haram terrorists that was conducted in 2017.
He added that 896 suspects were discharged for lack of evidence while 61 other cases were subsequently adjourned for further hearing.
The AGF spoke on Monday at the commencement of the trial for the fourth phase of the arrested suspected terrorists in Niger.
He said, “It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to this special event marking the resumption of the prosecution of terrorism suspects. This day is special for many reasons. First, the day marks yet another step forward in the journey of ensuring the security and safety of Nigeria and Nigerians, a duty that is of utmost importance to all of us gathered here, as it is the primary duty of government to ensure the security and welfare of its citizens.
“I must acknowledge the fact that we have come a long way in this initiative. The first phase of the Kainji Prosecution Project commenced in October 2017 with remarkable achievements where we recorded a total of 366 convictions, 896 others were discharged for want of sufficient evidence and 61 other cases adjourned for further hearing.
“There have been three phases of the exercise so far, spanning between October 2017 and July 2018. I must, at this point, challenge all stakeholders to ensure that the momentum is sustained, seeing how important this assignment is to the well-being of our beloved country and her people. “
Emphasising the importance of the trial, the AGF warned that if mismanaged, the situation could fuel insecurity and plunge the country into existential crises.
He said, “Terrorism has cost us a lot as a nation. From the communities directly affected, to the staggering losses in human and material resources, displacements, political and economic instability, and the general atmosphere of fear it has created, all point to how crucial this exercise is to our progress and prosperity as a nation.
“Conversely, if the process is mismanaged and, as a result, the insecurity situation is allowed to fester, it may lead to existential crises in the very long run. I, therefore, pledge my total support to the cause as I urge the stakeholders once again to continue in a good job.”
Fagbemi said the trial would be open and compliant with the constitution, adding that the Ministry of Justice would continue to deploy the right resources to improve its prosecutorial capabilities.
“The ministry is also continuing to support efforts towards deradicalisation and reintegration of deserving terrorists,” the AGF added.