Nigeria: Military Claims 8,000 Boko Haram Fighters, Family Members Surrendered

23 September 2021

Military authorities, yesterday, claimed 8,000 fighters of terrorist groups, Boko Haram and the Islamic State for West African Province (ISWAP), have so far surrendered to troops in the North East.

It said the insurgents notably the fighters, commanders and their family members were profiled and processed since they began to lay down their arms in June.

This is as the United States government has reportedly seized about $6.1 million belonging to Nigeria after a hired arms supplier pleaded guilty to charges including, illegal dealing in military-grade weapons and money laundering, court documents showed.

The Acting General Officer Commanding 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Brigadier-General Abdulwahab Eyitayo, made the disclosure in Maiduguri, saying contrary to insinuations there was no ambiguity concerning the intent of those, who surrendered.

"The genuineness of their intention to surrender are not in doubt considering that they turned in their families as well. There was no way they could have come out with their families if the intention was suspect," he said.

He said the military was not leaving anything to chance as proper profiling of those, who surrendered were being conducted to separate them based on their extent of involvement in the killings and destruction that took place in the region.

He warned that there was still time for the recalcitrant ones to surrender as opportunity would soon be closed after which the military would embark on a final offensive to flush them out.

He attributed the massive surrender of the terrorists to sustained air strikes and artillery bombardment of their enclaves and blockade of food and other logistics to their camps by the troops.

The GOC maintained that what the Army did in accepting the surrender of the fighters was in line with extant dictates of law of armed conflicts and Geneva Convention, which Nigeria was a signatory.

"We are not doing what we are doing in order to pamper the surrendered fighters. Far from it. We are known for our ruggedness and doggedness, 7 Division, is the fighting division of the Nigerian Army and we are not relenting", he said.

Meanwhile, the United States government has reportedly seized about $6.1 million belonging to Nigeria after a hired arms supplier pleaded guilty to charges including, illegal dealing in military-grade weapons and money laundering, court documents showed.

Judge Erica Grosjean of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California ordered the forfeiture after Ara Dolarian, an unlicensed armed dealer, allegedly hired by the Nigerian government to help circumvent US ban on arms sale to Nigeria, admitted conducting arms sale without requisite approvals.

The report said Mr, Dolarian, who initially denied any wrongdoing, was arrested on May 15, 2019, and pleaded guilty on June 27.

His sentencing hearing would open on September 24, 2021, and might be concluded on October 6, 2021, court filings indicated.

For pleading guilty, Mr. Dolarian might face years in prison and could also forfeit $6,024,806.45 cash trapped in various U.S. banks and entities under his name and his businesses.

A brand-new BMW vehicle was also confiscated and would be sold by the US government, documents added.

The documents further showed that Col Sambo Dasuki, former President Goodluck Jonathan's National Security Adviser, contracted Hima Abubakar, the controversial promoter of Societe D'Equipments Internationaux (SEI), to help broker a deal for high‑explosive bombs, rockets, military-grade firearms and aircraft-mounted cannons to be deployed against Boko Haram insurgents.

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