Friday, January 20, 2012

Boko Haram: 6 alleged Suleja bombers granted N24m bail

ABUJA—A FEDERAL High Court sitting in Abuja, yesterday, granted bail to the six alleged masterminds of the bomb explosion that killed 16 persons at the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in Suleja, Niger State, on the eve of the April 16 presidential election.

The State Security Services, SSS, had alleged that the six accused persons, Shuaibu Abubakar, a.k.a Abu Quatada; Salisu Ahmed, Umar Babagana Umar, Mohammed Ali, Musa Adam and Umar Ibrahim, were the king-pins of the Boko Haram Islamic sect in Niger State.

Specifically, the security agency in a 5-count criminal charge it recommended against them, maintained that its undercover investigations revealed that the accused persons participated in various terrorist attacks that killed 28 persons between March and July. However, since September 30, 2011, when the accused persons were docked before the high court, they attended their trial from the Kuje prisons.

Meanwhile, following separate bail applications they filed before the court asking to be released on bail pending the hearing and determination of the substantive charges against them, trial Justice Aliyu Bilikisu, yesterday, granted them bail in the sum of N2m each with two sureties in like sum.

Stipulating conditions that must be met by the alleged Boko Haram members, Justice Aliyu said their intended surety must be a grade level 12 civil servant, adding that the person must be an employee of the Federal Government or the Federal Capital Territory Authority, FCTA. The said surety according to the court must not only be resident in Abuja, but should also be screened by the prosecution with a view to verifying his status.

The prosecution had alleged that the six accused persons, “between June 4 and July 12, (both dates inclusive) at various locations in Suleja, Niger state, Azare, Nasarawa state and the FCT, did engage in an act of terrorism by encouraging through training persons now at large, the use of arms and ammunition, and the preparation, planting and detonation of improvised explosive devices for the purpose of terrorism and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15 (2) of EFCC Act 2004 and punishable under the same section of the Act.”

It maintained that they were the persons that bombed a village, Dakna, in Bwari, Abuja, on May 23; an incident it said resulted in the death of three Peace Officers as well as, detonated an improvised explosive device at a political rally in Suleja which resulted in the death of three persons too.

If convicted, the offence for which the accused persons are answering to, attracts a punishment of life imprisonment.

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