First Boko Haram member sentenced for Chibok kidnapping

First Boko Haram member sentenced for Chibok kidnapping

The kidnapping sparked the 'Bring Back Our Girls' campaign

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The first person has been sentenced in relation to the Boko Haram Chibok kidnapping, according to Nigeria's justice ministry.

Haruna Yahaya has been handed a 15-year prison sentence after reportedly admitting to assisting in the kidnapping, but claims he was forced to join Boko Haram.

The 35-year-old also revealed he had lost count of how many people he had murdered, the justice ministry said.

A mass trial against people allegedly involved in the Islamist militant group is currently ongoing, Reuters reported.

Since the trial began more than 50 people have been convicted in relation to the 2014 kidnapping, where more than 200 girls were abducted from their school in the town of Chibok, Nigeria.

The trials are being held in an open court, as rights groups fought against secret trials which were held in October last year.

Boko Haram commander Abba Umar has also been handed a 60-year prison sentence. 

The justice ministry claimed he “remained adamant to his ideology despite all the efforts by the defence counsel to convince him to have a change of heart."

Boko Haram started an insurgency in the country in 2009 and this has resulted in the deaths of more than 20,000 people.

Two million people have also had to leave their homes in order to get to safety. The name of the group roughly means 'Western education is forbidden.'

Last year it was claimed 45 members of Boko Haram were jailed.