Nigeria Boko Haram
Nigerian army soldiers stand guard as they cordon off a road leading to the scene of a blast at a business district in AbujaReuters

The Nigerian government has sentenced three members of terror group Boko Haram to 25 years in jail.

According to local reports, the three insurgents were charged with 18 counts of conspiracy to commit terrorism, illegal possession of firearms, and being members of a proscribed organisation.

Ali Mohammed, Adamu Karumi and Ibrahim Usman will have to carry out labour work in prison for the whole jail term.

Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court in Lagos agreed to conduct the trial in secret in order to protect witnesses against possible repercussions after their testimony. However, Buba delivered the verdict on camera, due to the high interest of the media in the case.

At least 17 people suspected of belonging to Boko Haram were initially charged to court.

However the cases were dismissed against 13 of them. Another suspect was discharged on grounds that the government had failed to prove the allegations he founded terrorism activities.

Boko Haram fighters are surrendering

After a violent insurgent that has claimed thousands of lives in Nigeria since 2002, reports have emerged that Boko Haram fighters are surrendering to Nigerian troops.

Officials said that many Boko Haram members surrendered in Kodunga, Borno State, after days of fighting in which at least 60 insurgents were killed and another senior leader was captured.

Unconfirmed reports also said that the group's leader, Abubakar Shekau, was killed during clashes in Kodunga.

Further investigations however revealed that the man killed was Shekau's impersonator, not the leader himself.

Boko Haram militants are attacking several cities across northern Nigeria, in a bid to expand the "Islamic caliphate" they proclaimed in Gwoza, along the Cameroon border, in August 2014.

Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa states, where the militants usually carry out their attacks, have been under a state of emergency since May 2013.

Human Rights Watch said Boko Haram has killed at least 2,053 people since the beginning of 2014.

According to Western intelligence agencies, the militants are now seeking to tighten their relationship with terror group Isis – now known as the Islamic State – which is giving them advice on strategy and tactics to expand the Islamic caliphate in north-eastern Nigeria.

The group sparked worldwide outrage after it kidnapped some 220 girls in Chibok, Borno State, last April. After months of research conducted by both the Nigerian and foreign governments, the girls have not yet been found.