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Catholic Church bombing: You’ve a case to answer, Court tells Kabiru Sokoto

June 22, 2013

The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, Friday, held that 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 a criminal case to answer.

Dismissing a no-case application that filed by the alleged kingpin of the Boko Haram sect, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, also ordered him to produce his witnesses in court on July 5, with a view to establishing his innocence to the terrorism charge against him.

The judge said he was satisfied that going by the totality of the proof of evidence before the court, the government, had successfully established a criminal case which would warrant further explanation by the accused person.

Boko Haram: Kabiru Sokoto Suspected Mandala Bomber at the  Federal High Court in Abuja. Photo by Gbemiga Olamikan
Sokoto who is answering a two-count charge against him by the government had through his team of lawyers led by Mr. Hassan Lukman, maintained that the government failed to establish a prima-facie case capable of warranting his trial and conviction.

While praying the court to discharge and acquit him, the accused person, Lukman contended that none of the six witnesses that testified against him in court was able to establish a nexus linking him to the  alleged terrorist act.

Sokoto further queried the propriety of allowing him to undergo trial “in view of the fact that the prosecution has failed to tender any evidence connecting him to the alleged offence.”

He was initially docked before the High Court on May 20, 2013.

Aside allegations 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. The said terrorists’ training camp was instituted at Abaji, a suburb of Abuja

He was said to have between 2007 and 2012, at Mabira Sokoto, Sokoto State, facilitated the commission of terrorist acts  including planting bombs at the police headquarters and some government organizations 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. He was re-arrested on February 10, 2012.

His mysterious escape from custody culminated to the sack of the erstwhile Inspector General of Police, Mr. Hafiz Ringim and former Commission of Police in-charge of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT,  Zakari Biu.  Biu was out rightly dismissed from the Police Force.

The last prosecution witness had told the court that Sokoto confessed that one of the recognized leaders of the sect, Abubakar Shekau, told him that only members of the sect that had been initiated into the “Shurah” cadre, were allowed to know the ideology behind the current insurgency in the Northern parts of the country.

The witness told the court that Sokoto had further disclosed that whereas members of the “Shurah” which he belongs to, plan and mastermind attacks, others were recruited to execute terrorist agenda of the sect.

However, Sokoto, through his lawyer, faulted the testimony of the masked witness, maintaining that he used the Hausa word “Anche” in his statement, a word he said means “they said.”

He told the court that he was only referring to what he was told by those affiliated to the sect.

One of the witnesses had earlier narrated before the court how a donation of N40million divided the sect.

According to the witness, Sokoto had in a statement he made on January 14, 2012, confessed that out of the said N40million which he said was received from another terrorist group in Algeria, he got N500, 000, being the recognized Governor of Sokoto State in the hierarchy of the group.


Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

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