More than 1,600 Boko Haram suspects will face the dock on Monday.
More than 1,600 suspected members of Boko Haram will appear in court in Nigeria on Monday, in unprecedented mass trials to be held behind closed doors.
The defendants have all been picked up and held in detention since the start of the conflict in 2009, which has left at least 20,000 dead in the country's northeast Lake Chad region and more than 2.3 million displaced.
1. The closed-door trials have been a long time coming
Some 1,670 detainees at a military base in Kainji, in the central state of Niger, will be tried first followed by 651 others held at the Giwa barracks in the capital of the northeastern state of Borno state, Maiduguri.
A government source involved in the process said that defence and prosecution lawyers arrived early today to prepare for the cases.
"It's just about sorting out the record of the suspects to determine who is going to stand trial today and those who will be tried later," the source said, on condition of anonymity.
Nigerian Attorney-General and Justice Minister Abubakar Malami said four judges were appointed to handle the cases behind closed doors and defendants would have legal representation.
"The trials will be conducted on an individual basis. Of course, where some suspects are accused of committing a particular crime, they will be tried in a group," the source said.
TRT World's Staci Bivens has this report.
2. Nigeria hasn't had much success with the fight so far
In eight years, only 13 people have been put on trial and just nine convicted for their links to the terrorist organisation, according to the government in Abuja. The trials have been welcomed as a positive step.
Amnesty International reports that casualties have doubled in the past five months in Borno and Adamawa states because of increased suicide bombings, many carried out by young girls.
3. Justice may not be served after all
The long-awaited trials will also raise questions about transparency.
A justice ministry source said media would not be allowed on security grounds and that although civilian courts, they would be held in military facilities.
Umar Ado, a defence lawyer based in Nigeria's norther city of Kano, said that it was "as good as denying the public the right to know how the trial is carried out."
"It sends the wrong signal that justice is not served or the process is compromised," he added.
There have also been questions about the ability of Nigeria's justice system to handle so many cases at once and even of simple procedural details such as whether defendants will be tried on their own or together.
The justice ministry itself has already highlighted the potential pitfalls facing judges, such as poor investigation techniques, lack of forensic evidence and "over reliance on confession-based evidence."
4. The international community is sceptical
To what extent those on trial are connected to the group will likely come under scrutiny.
Amnesty International said in a June 2015 report that more than 20,000 people had been arbitrarily arrested as part of the fight against Boko Haram.
The report highlighted appalling conditions in military detention facilities and claimed at least 1,200 people had been summarily killed and 7,000 died in custody since 2011.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who was elected in 2015, has promised to look into repeated accusations of human rights violations, including against high-ranking officers.
At least two commissions of inquiry have been established but the army announced in June this year that no action would be taken against top brass accused by Amnesty.
Such revelations have made Western countries cautious about responding to repeated Nigerian requests for more military support in the conflict, particularly in terms of weapons and other hardware.
5. The US has already blocked military deals
The US administration of former president Barack Obama blocked a nearly $600 million deal with Nigeria for 12 fighter planes after a botched air strike that killed more than 100 civilians. The deal finally went through this past August.
Britain's foreign minister, Boris Johnson, said on a recent visit that London was considering a Nigerian request for more military hardware.
Amnesty believes the mass trials of Boko Haram suspects were the result of international pressure on the Nigerian government as it wants to procure arms.