Bloomberg News

Nigerian Court Jails Former Boko Haram Spokesman for 3 Years

December 07, 2011

(Updates with bail ruling for co-defendant in third paragraph.)

Dec. 6 (Bloomberg) -- A court in Nigeria sentenced Ali Sanda Umar Konduga, said to be a former spokesman of the Boko Haram militant Islamic sect, to three years in jail today after he was convicted on two felony charges, according to court proceedings in Abuja, the capital.

Presiding Magistrate Oyebola Oyewunmi said he considered Konduga’s “plea for leniency” in sentencing him following his conviction on Nov. 22. Ali Ndume, a serving senator in the legislature who pleaded not guilty when charged along with Konduga, was denied bail until a trial date was determined.

Authorities in Africa’s top oil producer blame Boko Haram, which draws inspiration from Afghanistan’s Taliban movement, for a spate of bombings and attacks in the mainly Muslim north and Abuja since last year.

The group claimed responsibility for the Aug. 26 suicide car-bombing of the United Nations building in Abuja that killed 24 people. The group also said it was behind attacks in the northeastern Yobe and Borno states on Nov. 4, which killed at least 150 people and wounded dozens, according to Civil Rights Congress, a rights group based in the region.

At least 425 people have died in attacks by the sect this year, according to New York-based Human Rights Watch.

--Editors: Dulue Mbachu, Emily Bowers

To contact the reporter on this story: Elisha Bala-Gbogbo in Abuja at ebalagbogbo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dulue Mbachu at dmbachu@bloomberg.net


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