A Federal Court of Appeal sitting in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) has convicted six Nigerians for allegedly funding Boko Haram.
The conviction was upheld by the appellate court after they lost an earlier appeal at a lower court.
Surajo Abubakar Muhammad and Saleh Yusuf Adamu were sentenced to life imprisonment, according to Daily Trust.
The other defendants, AbdurRahman Ado Musa, Bashir Ali Yusuf, Ibrahim Ali Alhassan 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 to Boko Haram.
Article 29, Clause 3 of UAE’s Federal Anti-Terrorism Law No 7 of 2017 criminalises such act.
UAE’s National Security Bureau said investigations confirmed the accused Nigerians’ involvement and membership of Boko Haram.
They were arrested between 16th and 17th April, 2017, and their homes searched according to the search warrant issued by the National Security Prosecution office dated 16th April, 2017.
Abubakar and Adamu were charged for joining Boko Haram knowingly. This act is punishable by death or life imprisonment as stated in Article 22/2 of UAE’s Federal Anti-Terrorism Law No 7 of 2017 .
Alhassan, Musa, Yusuf and Isa were charged with assisting the sect knowingly.
Most of the transactions were facilitated by Alhaji Sa’idu and Alhaji Ashiru, two undercover Boko Haram agents based in Nigeria.
This negates Article 31, Clause 1 of the same law, which is punishable by life imprisonment or at least five years in jail.
Alhaji Ashiru was described as “a Nigerian government official”.
He also reportedly transferred misappropriated public funds to terrorists.
Sa’idu’s modus operandi involves the use of 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.
But Families of the convicts say they were “framed up”, insisting they have a legitimate bureau de change business in the UAE.