Six Nigerians have been convicted by a Federal Court of Appeal in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over alleged funding of Boko Haram.
Surajo Abubakar Muhammad and Saleh Yusuf Adamu were sentenced to life imprisonment, while Ibrahim Ali Alhassan, AbdurRahman Ado Musa, Bashir Ali Yusuf and Muhammad Ibrahim Isa were handed ten-year imprisonment respectively.
The court judgment also proved that between 2015 and 2016, the convicts were involved in different cash transfers allegedly in favour of Boko Haram to the tune of $782, 000.
The act was contrary to Article 29, Clause 3 of UAE’s Federal Anti-Terrorism Law No 7 of 2017, even as those close to them said the transactions were done for legitimate purposes.
National Security Bureau said investigation of the Nigerians “confirmed their involvement and membership of the Boko Haram”.
Most of the transactions were facilitated by two undercover Boko Haram agents based in Nigeria. One of them is “Alhaji Sa’idu”.
The other “Alhaji Ashiru” was described as “a Nigerian government official”.
He also reportedly funnelled misappropriated public funds to terrorists.
Sa’idu’s mode of operation is using unidentified Arab persons on a visit to Dubai from Turkey to hand over US Dollars to one of the convicts, who then remit Naira equivalent to the agent.
For over a decade in Nigeria, the issue of Boko Haram funding has been a serious mystery and different theories have been advanced by prominent personalities and groups.
This was probably the first time certain individuals were identified despite outside the shores of Nigeria. A senior government official confirmed that they were aware of the case.
Families of the convicts say they were “framed up”, insisting their bureau de change business in the UAE was legitimate. They say that they were involved in legitimate Bureau De Change business in the United Arab Emirates.