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Proceedings At The Ongoing Syndicated Trial Of Suspected Boko Haram Terrorists In Kainji

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…As trial judges tour detention facilities

The Federal Government initiative on the quick dispensation of Boko Haram cases officially began today as the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN in line with his concerted effort to ensure expeditious disposition of the cases and the decongestion of prisons in the country has began the trial of suspected terrorists in Kainji, Niger State on October 9th, 2017 with four dedicated courts sitting.

This is just as the leader of trial judges, Justice Binta Nyako led her team and prosecutors from the Federal Ministry of Justice as well as the defence team from the Legal Aid Council on an inspection tour of the facility at about 12.30pm after which the judges proceeded to their various chambers to begin the process of sitting in their respective courts.

This is contained in a press statement issued by Comrade Salihu Othman Isah, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice and made available to newsmen on Tuesday, October 10th, 2017.

The suspects are arraigned in connection with various attacks in different locations in the country.

Isah is in attendance at the ongoing trial of the Boko Haram suspects at the Wawa Cantonment prison facility in Kainji, Borgu Local Government Area of Niger state which kicked off on October 9th, 2017 as earlier reported in a press release he circulated.

He disclosed that most of the cases heard on the opening of trial were exparte motions in the four special dedicated courts located within the premises of the military facility by the Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdu Kafarati weeks back. Nyako, the trial judge assigned to Court 1 opened the process by hearing the first case to kick-start the Federal government initiative to dispense the terrorism cases expeditiously.

The case with Motion No. FHC/KAINJI/CF/1/2017, an exparte motion involving the Federal Republic of Nigeria versus Emmanuel Yakubu, Kamslim Abdullahi, Kefas Yusuf, Mohammed Garba and Ham Jangal and 95 others opened at 1.35pm.

Lead prosecuting counsel in the case, Mrs. Nkiruka Jones Nebo, who is also an Assistant Director in the Department of Public Prosecution of the Federal Ministry of Justice, applied for the amendment of the title of the court to read holden at the Wawa Cantonment, Kainji, Niger state.

Nebo who led Mr. Y.A. Cole, a Senior State Counsel in the Federal Ministry of Justice said, “the motion exparte was brought pursuant to Section 35 (1) (c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), Section 299 0f ACJA 2015, Section 27 of the Terrorism Prevention (Amendment Act) 2015 and under the inherent jurisdiction of this honourable court”.

“Such further order as this honourable court may deem fit to make in the circumstance”, said the trial judge who directed that the accused be kept for 90 days in custody and ordered that if no case is preferred against them, they should show cause why they should not be released.

In Court 4 which began sitting at 13:38 hours, Mr. Labaran Magaji, a Principal State Counsel in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution in the Federal Ministry of Justice, had his request granted in his application made on behalf of the Attorney General of the Federation for the transfer of one, Adamu Abbdullahi (aka Danjuma) from the Kainji facility to Bauchi Prison to continue facing his trial. While Labaran was assisted by C.S. Nnanna, B.A. Adekunle of the Legal Aid Council announced appearance as his defence counsel in the case presided over by the trial judge.

In the cause list which read, “In the Federal High Court of Nigeria holding at Wawa Cantonment, Kainji, Niger state”, the suspect whose case was said to be awaiting judgment at the Bauchi Judicial Division was one of the terrorism suspects transferred to the prison facility in Wawa Cantonment, Kainji in circumstances said to be for safe keep arising from rumours of planned jailbreak in prison facilities in North east zone of the country. So, the prosecuting counsel, Labaran argued that the suspect don’t need to repeat the rigours of another round of trial but to be simply relocated to Bauchi Judicial Division where he was earlier charged to get judgment, a request the defence counsel did not object to “in the interest of justice”.

Having heard from both sides, the trial judge ordered that the defendant be handed over to the Controller of Prison, Bauchi. He also said the State shall present the defendant to the Bauchi Division of the Federal High Court for the purpose of conclusion of trial and delivery of judgment. He adjourned till November 15th, 2017 for report of compliance.

Abdullahi is accused of being in possession of two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) with which he attempted to bomb the Central Mosque Fadamau Bauna in Bauchi.

Proceedings in Court 2 began with case file no: FHC/KAINJI/CR/2/2017 at 13:50 hours with the trial judge presiding. The suspects are Yusuf Abdullahi, Sani Mohammed, Baba Ari, Isah Abdullahi, Mohammed Kumchi and 95 others.

 The prosecuting counsel, Mrs. G.N. Okafor sought an order of the court to remain the suspects involved in Kainji prison facility pending the conclusion of their investigation in the interest of justice.

Okafor appealed for more time so as to carry out thorough investigation, a request the judge granted by granting 90 days for the investigation, charges and immediate prosecution and the court adjourned till January 9th, 2018 for next sitting.

The trial judge opened sitting in Court 3 at about 1:40pm with Kawulle Sani Abubakar and 99 others being arraigned. Federal prosecutor, Mrs. A. Adewnmi-Aluko led by O.J. Okpa and assisted by M.A. Abiodun prayed the court for time to conduct thorough investigation and sought that the suspects be remanded for 90 days.

The ten paragraph affidavit was deposed to by Major Etuami Biassoro Totoh, the Officer-in-Charge of the Kainji Detention Facility.

The trial judge thus pronounced that the accused be remanded in prison custody to enable the prosecutors carry out thorough investigation and arraignment. The court rose by 2.15pm having adjourned to January 9th, 2018.

 

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