A Federal High Court in Kainji has sentenced Haruna Yahaya, one of the kidnappers of Chibok schoolgirls to 15 years in prison, at the resumed trials of Boko Haram suspects.
35 years old physically challenged Yahaya was found guilty of taking part in the abduction of over 200 girls from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State in April 2014.
Yahaya, a former trader from Potiskum, Yobe State had pleaded for mercy, claiming he was conscripted into the terrorist sect.
Earlier, defence counsel, Matthew Egege asked the court to discharge Yahaya, pleading that his testimony is pathetic.
He argued that as a conscript he could have been killed if he had refused the sect’s orders.
But the judge said he could not use his physical condition to win sympathy, adding that he had a choice not to participate in the Boko Haram activities even though he was forced.
He was charged under the Terrorism Prevention Act, 2011.
The court ruled that Haruna Yahaya will serve the term in any prison facility, to be determined by the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Prisons Service.
The other 19 convicts were sentenced to between three and five years from the date of their arrest.
The verdicts were given at the resumed fast-track trial of Boko Haram suspects being detained in the location. Over 700 detainees will appear before the court during the trial.
A report says Last year, over 50 Boko Haram members were convicted by the court, while over 400 were released for lack of evidence.
Yahaya who admitted to having killed a number of citizens in Gabsuri and Chibok towns in Damboa Local Government Area of Borno State, after he claimed the sect members forcefully conscripted him, also gave an account of how he participated in the abduction of over 200 girls in Chibok, Borno State.
He claimed that during the operation at the secondary school in Chibok in April 2014, he was forced to carry an AK47 rifle. He said he usually tied the weapon to his functional arm with index fingers at the trigger.
Yahaya was among 20 Boko Haram terrorists who were jailed to serve various prison terms. The trial took place at Wawa Cantonment, Kainji, Niger State.