The Defence Headquarters on Friday ordered the release of 167 suspects arrested in connection with Boko Haram insurgency in line with a presidential directive.
The suspects, who are to be released, include 157 from facilities in Borno State, nine from Yobe and one from Adamawa.
The affected persons would be released to their respective state governments by the appropriate military formations/commands in the three Northeast states which are currently under emergency rule.
The Presidency and the Federal Ministry of Justice will work out the modalities for the trial of 500 suspects who have cases to answer.
But about 1,000 other suspects are still in detention while investigation of their activities, especially the extent of their involvement in terrorism, is ongoing.
A statement issued in Abuja by the Defence Spokesman, Gen. Chris Olukolade, confirmed the directive to release the 167 suspects.
The statement said: “Over 165 persons apprehended in the course of military operations on terror in three states in the North-East are to be released from custody in compliance with Presidential directive.
“The suspects are those earlier recommended for release by the Joint Investigation Team, (JIT) set up by the Defence Headquarters last year. Of the number, 157 are from facilities in Borno, nine from Yobe and one suspect from Adamawa.
“It will be recalled that other detainees, particularly women and children have benefited from similar gestures which started in May last year. More suspects in this category are also to benefit in the present exercise.
“The suspects will be released to their respective state governments”.
It would be recalled that the Defence Headquarters had released all women and children in detention in connection with terrorism following a similar directive by President Goodluck Jonathan in May, 2013.