Ten charged after Boko Haram displaced protest

File: AFP
File: AFP

Kano - Ten people appeared in court in northeast Nigeria on Tuesday charged with breach of the peace and rioting after a protest march by the Boko Haram homeless.

An official at the Wulari magistrates court in Maiduguri said the hearing took place under heavy security and the defendants were charged with rioting and breach of the peace.

"It was a brief appearance and no pleas were taken," the official, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorised to speak to the media, told AFP.

"The judged ordered that they be remanded in prison custody and adjourned the case until October 23."

The 10 were among some 3 000 people from the Dalori camp for internally displaced people (IDPs) on the outskirts of Maiduguri who took to the streets on Sunday.

They were calling for better conditions in the camps and also the right to return to their homes in the second-largest town in Borno state, Bama.

Among those arrested was the chairperson and secretary of the Bama Youth Development Association, which organised the protest.

Ibrahim Bukar, from the group, said they tried secure bail but were denied, claiming they were being held "on orders from above".

"To our shock, we heard they had been taken to court this morning and some of us rushed there. We found a heavy armed police presence around the court," he added.

Boko Haram's Islamist insurgency has left at least 20 000 dead since 2009 and forced more than 2.6 million others from their homes.

With farmland devastated and farmers dead or forced to flee, a humanitarian crisis has left hundreds of thousands on the brink of famine.

Aid agencies have been providing food, clean water, healthcare and shelter to those seeking refuge in the camps but funding shortfalls have hit humanitarian projects.

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