Kabir Umar Abubakar “Sokoto”, the main suspect in the 2011 Christmas Day bombing that killed and injured many at the St Theresa’s Catholic Church, Madalla in Niger State was on Friday arraigned at the Federal High Court in Abuja.
His trial was stalled when he appeared in court on March 20 due to the absence of a defence counsel. The accused person is now being represented by Adamu Ibrahim.
Kabir Sokoto has been charged for being a member of the terrorist organisation, Boko Haram in Mabira, Sokoto State between 2007 and 2012. And apart from having information about the Christmas Day bombing and refusing to divulge the same to law enforcement agents, Sokoto was also alleged to have facilitated the execution of a terrorist act within the period of his membership of the organisation, which is contrary to Section 4(1)(a) of the Terrorism and Prevention Act 2011 and punishable under Section 33(1)(b) of the same act.
He pleaded not guilty to both charges. The oral application for bail made by the defence counsel was rejected by Justice Ademola who advised him to submit a written application for bail due to the nature of the offence. The request by Ibrahim that his client should be transferred from the SSS Headquarters to Kuje Prison was however granted.
While the next hearing has been fixed for May 2, the judge instructed both the prosecution and defence counsels to file all processes related to the case by April 26.
If found guilty, Kabir Sokoto faces life imprisonment.