The alleged mastermind of the Christmas day bomb blast that killed about 44 persons and wounded 75 others at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Madalla, Niger State, in 2011, Kabiru Umar, a.k.a Kabiru Sokoto has been found guilty of the crime of terrorism and murder by a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.
The court also found Kabiru Sokoto guilty of planning to bomb the Police Headquarters in Sokoto State.
Aside the allegation that he trained over 500 men on how to manufacture and detonate improvised explosive devices (IEDs), the Federal Government said that he had prior knowledge that the sect planned to bomb the church on Christmas day but failed to disclose it to any law enforcement officer as soon as reasonably practicable.
He was said to have between 2007 and 2012, at Mabira Sokoto, Sokoto State, facilitated the commission of terrorist acts, including planting bombs at Police Headquarters and some government organisations in the state.
Though he was previously arrested by the Police in Abuja on January 14, 2012, he was, however, declared missing two days later.
Justice Ademola Adeniyi of the court sentenced Kabiru Umar to life imprisonment.
Counsel to Kabiru Sokoto, Sherif Okoh has however expressed reservations over the court ruling.
“Most of the statements that he (presiding judge) called confessional, we intend to go to the Court of Appeal and sort those things out, given the fact that our arguments on law were very clear with respect to those documents.
“For instance, the witnesses that were vital, especially the one that he (the judge) referred to as Kabiru Sokoto’s boy, did not for one day appear before this honourable court. Then the statement was dated the 19th day of November 2011, whereas he was arrested on the 20th day of November 2011. That means even before he was arrested, the statement was there waiting for him,” , Sherif told Channels Television after the judgment.
He also alleged that signatures were forged in some of the documents provided in court, which indicted his client, Kabiru Sokoto.