Judge threatens to release 24 suspected Boko Haram members

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An Abuja Federal High Court Judge has threatened to discharge 24 suspected members of the violent Islamist sect Boko Haram standing trial before the court.

Some of the suspects standing trial are Umar Alia (21), Musa Yakubu Gava (38), Awalu Mohammed (35), Alh Modu Bama (36), Yakubu Modu Kolibe (15), Mohammed  Modu (23), Badare Hassan (27), Mohammed Umar (21) and Mohammed Sheriff (23).

The police say that the accused persons along with others at large attacked Gwange Police Station and engaged the policemen in the station in a gun battle.

The suspects are facing multiple charges of conspiring to commit felony and act of terrorism in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

Trial Judge, Justice Abdul Kafarati, says the prosecution counsel had not showed diligence in prosecuting the case. The Judge also frowned on the inability of the prosecution to bring  witnesses to give evidence in the matter.

“I should have discharged the accused persons today, but I am compelled by justice to restrain such action and allow the prosecution one last chance.

“The court had adjourned this matter four times at the instance of the prosecutor, who had always promised to bring his witnesses to court but failed each time.

“I shall, therefore, discharge the accused persons should the prosecution fail to bring the witnesses to court on the next adjourned date.

“The prosecution was ordered to avail the accused persons’ lawyers’ proof of evidence.

“It is against the court procedure not to do that a year after the accused persons were arraigned.” Justice Kafarati said.

Thirteen months after the police arraigned the suspects, no single witness had been called by the prosecution.

At the last hearing,  the prosecution had said the witnesses scheduled to give statement in the matter had fled their homes in Maiduguri, Borno State.

The prosecution counsel, Bernard Nnamdi, told Justice Kafarati that the police were making frantic efforts to trace the witnesses adding that the witnesses had abandoned their homes in the wake of the Boko Haram insurgency, hence the difficulty in progressing in the criminal trial of the accused persons.

Justice Kafarati who expressed surprise at the excuse of the Police said he was aware of movement in and out of Maiduguri and warned that he would not hesitate to strike out the case if there was no progress at the next sitting.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Why will Federal High Court do that? That is what is killing Nigerians. There is no confidence in law; there is no confidence in every practice within the nation. Will Nigeria as a country overcome this ordeal. Come! Judge, you are missing it. Face it, witness or no witness. Didn’t they engage in gun-combat with the police?

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