The Nigerian Army on Thursday released 42 persons, who were among several suspects being held for allegedly belonging to the violent Islamic sect, Boko Haram sect.
The 7 Division of the Nigerian Army headquarter in Maiduguri, which released the suspects, explained that the detainees, who comprised Nigerians and foreign nationals, were arrested at different times and at separate locations over suspicion of having links with the fundamentalist group.
Handing over the detainees to the Borno State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, the spokesman for the division, Col. Sani Usman, said the military authorities had found out that the suspects did not have links with the militant sect.
“The Nigerian Army has for sometime now been fighting terrorism in the country. During this period, some suspected terrorists were arrested and detained. However after being investigated, 42, which included three foreigners, who were found innocent, are now freed,” he added.
He said extensive investigations were conducted by the relevant security operatives, which exonerated them from having any links either directly or indirectly with the violent group.
He said the three foreigners included a Burkinabe, a Cameroonian and a Chadian nationals.
Usman said the division had provided a token of N100,000 to each of the 39 Nigerians to return to their various homes.
He commended the state government and the residents for their support in the fight against terrorism.
Shettima thanked the division for the release of the suspects, promising to assist in repatriating the three foreigners to their countries.
The Borno governor also gave an unspecified cash donations to the suspects and directed the state Head of Service, Alhaji Bukar Yakubu, to employ some of them as tailors in the state civil service