Babagana Zulum, governor of Borno, has expressed delight at the conviction of six Nigerians in United Arab Emirates (UAE) for funding Boko Haram.
In April 2019, the Abu Dhabi federal court of appeal sentenced two of the six convicts to life imprisonment while the remaining four were sentenced to 10 years in prison each.
According to the court, they were found guilty of setting up a Boko Haram cell in the UAE to raise funds and material assistance for the insurgents in Nigeria.
But the families of the convicts alleged that they were framed up.
Reacting to the news, Zulum said the development is an indication that significant progress is being made in the war against insurgency.
He, however, noted that he “acknowledges and respects” the rights of families of the convicts who have raised questions on the UAE court judgment.
“Governor Babagana Umara Zulum is glad that for the first time in 11 years, there appears to be headway on tracking some alleged financiers of Boko Haram’s activities which has left thousands of citizens killed, millions displaced and private property and public institutions worth 9 billion dollars destroyed in Borno, other parts of the northeast and Nigeria at large,” the statement read.
“Zulum urged the Federal Government to consider setting up a multi-stakeholder team with trusted representatives from the Federal Ministries of Justice, Foreign Affairs, the Nigerian Intelligence Agency, NIA, the Defence Intelligence Agency, DIA, the Multinational Joint Task Force in the Lake Chad, and the ECOWAS Intergovernmental Action Group on Terrorism Financing in West Africa, GIABA, to assiduously work with the UAE Government to look into the issues raised by families crying foul play, and more importantly, to follow-up on the findings by the UAE with the hope of using the intelligence, if authenticated, to expand search on other Boko Haram sponsors that may be helping in similar ways.
The governor also urged the people of the state “to sustain prayers for God to expose all sponsors of Boko Haram and anyone who knowingly benefits from the crisis at the expense of peace in the state”.