An Abu Dhabi Federal Court of Appeal in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has convicted six Nigerians over alleged funding of Boko Haram.
The conviction was upheld by the appellate court after they lost an earlier appeal at a lower court.
Daily Trust reported on Monday that Surajo Abubakar Muhammad and Saleh Yusuf Adamu were sentenced to life imprisonment.
The rest, Ibrahim Ali Alhassan, AbdurRahman Ado Musa, Bashir Ali Yusuf and Muhammad Ibrahim Isa, got ten-year imprisonment each.
Court documents show that between 2015 and 2016, the convicts were allegedly involved in cash transfers totalling $782,000.00 to Boko Haram.
The act was contrary to Article 29, Clause 3 of UAE’s Federal Anti-Terrorism Law No 7 of 2017.
National Security Bureau said investigation of the Nigerians “confirmed their involvement and membership of the Boko Haram”.
They were arrested between April 16 and 17, 2017, and their homes searched according to the search warrant issued by the National Security Prosecution office dated April 16, 2017.
Abubakar and Adamu were charged for joining Boko Haram knowingly.
This negates Article 22/2 of UAE’s Federal Anti-Terrorism Law No 7 of 2017 punishable by death or life imprisonment.
Alhassan, Musa, Yusuf and Isa 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.
The report revealed that almost all the transactions that landed the six Nigerians now in jail in the UAE were initiated by two undercover Boko Haram agents who are based in Nigeria from where they were facilitating the funding transactions.
One of them, Alhaji Sa’idu who is allegedly based in Nigeria, is said to be a senior undercover Boko Haram member responsible for facilitating the group’s access to funds from its sponsors.
Also fingered in some of the transitions was one Alhaji Ashiru, who is said to be “a Nigerian government official” and yet a senior undercover Boko Haram member who facilitated the transfer of misappropriated public funds to the group.
A source said; “I think Alhaji Sa’idu is just Nom de guerre who used the gullibility of the victims to achieve his aim. They were into bureau de change business, receiving and sending monies on behalf of others.
“From what I understand, they have been doing the business for long and along the line, they fell into a trap. I am not siding with them or trying to indict them but generally, there is ignorance on their side.”
Families of the convicts however told Daily Trust that their relatives were most likely deceived in the course of their routine bureau de change transactions to the extent that some of the transactions they facilitated turned out to be for proceeds meant for Boko Haram activities.