An Abu Dhabi Federal Court of Appeal in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has convicted six Nigerians over alleged funding of Boko Haram. Their conviction was upheld by an appellate court after they lost an earlier appeal at a lower court. Messrs Surajo Abubakar Muhammad and Saleh Yusuf Adamu were sentenced to life imprisonment while Ibrahim Ali Alhassan, AbdurRahman Ado Musa, Bashir Ali Yusuf, and Muhammad Ibrahim Isa were sentenced to ten years each.
Court documents show that between 2015 and 2016, the convicts were allegedly involved in cash transfers totaling $782,000.00 to Boko Haram. This is contrary to Article 29, Clause 3 of UAE’s Federal Anti-Terrorism Law No 7 of 2017. The emirate’s National Security Bureau said the 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 were searched according to search warrants issued by the National Security Prosecution office dated April 16, 2017.
Messrs Abubakar and Adamu were charged for knowingly joining Boko Haram which is contrary to the UAE’s Federal Anti-Terrorism Law No 7 of 2017 punishable by death or life imprisonment.
Alhassan, Musa, Yusuf, and Isa were charged with knowingly assisting the murderous sect. The crime, under Article 31, Clause 1 of the same law, is punishable by life imprisonment or at least five years in jail. Most of the transactions were facilitated by two undercover Boko Haram agents based in Nigeria. While one of them is known by his nom de guerre “Alhaji Sa’idu”, the other, also known by an alias “Alhaji Ashiru” is said to be “a Nigerian government official”.
He also reportedly funneled misappropriated public funds to terrorists. Alhaji Sa’idu’s modus operandi is using 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. Families of the convicts say they were “framed up”, insisting that the convicts operated legitimate bureaux de change in the UAE.