Six Nigerians have been convicted by an Abu Dhabi Federal Court of Appeal in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over alleged funding of Boko Haram.
The appellate court upheld the conviction after they lost an earlier appeal at a lower court.
Saleh Yusuf Adamu and Surajo Abubakar Muhammad were both sentenced to life imprisonment, while, Ibrahim Ali Alhassan, AbdurRahman Ado Musa, Bashir Ali Yusuf and Muhammad Ibrahim Isa, got ten-year imprisonment each.
According to court documents, between 2015 and 2016, the convicts were allegedly involved in cash transfers totalling $782,000.00 to Boko Haram, an act was contrary to Article 29, Clause 3 of UAE’s Federal Anti-Terrorism Law No 7 of 2017.
Investigation of the Nigerians “confirmed their involvement and membership of the Boko Haram”, according to the National Security Bureau.
They were arrested between April 16 and 17, 2017, and their homes searched.
Adamu and Abubakar were charged for joining the terrorist group knowingly, an act that negates Article 22/2 of UAE’s Federal Anti-Terrorism Law No 7 of 2017 punishable by death or life imprisonment.
The rest, Alhassan, Musa, USA and Yusuf were charged with assisting the sect knowingly. The crime, under Article 31, Clause 1 of the same law, is punishable by life imprisonment or at least five years in jail.
Most of the transactions were said to be facilitated by two undercover Boko Haram agents based in Nigeria. One of them is “Alhaji Sa’idu”.
The other, “Alhaji Ashiru”, who was described as “a Nigerian government official”, also reportedly funnelled misappropriated public funds to terrorists.
The modus operandi of Sa’idu is using unidentified Arab persons on a visit to Dubai from Turkey to hand over US Dollars to one of the convicts.
The convict then remit Naira equivalent to the agent.
Meanwhile, families of the convicts have said they were “framed up”, adding that their bureau de change business in the UAE was legitimate.