Court Orders Boko Haram Suspects Remanded in DSS Custody

The Federal High Court Abuja, on Tuesday upheld the prosecution’s prayer to remand seven suspected member of the Boko Haram terrorist group in the cell of the Department of State Security, rather than Kuje Prison it earlier ordered.
The DSS had filed an application against the order to remand the seven suspects in Kuje Prison.
On the last adjourned date,the court granted prosecution application to shield witnesses that will be testifying in the case and adjourned to rule in the application for the defendants to be remanded in DSS custody.
The prosecuting counsel, Shaibu Labaran had urged the court to vary its earlier order to remand the defendants in Kuje Prison.
The prosecution had argued that it would be better to remand them in DSS custody owing to security challenges at Kuje Prison.
In his ruling, Tuesday, Justice John Tsoho, said the prosecution had in a motion requested that the defendants not to be remanded in prison custody and they should be remanded in DSS custody for security challenges.
He said Elijah Oloruntoba, counsel to the third defendant, Umar Bello, had argued and urged the court to dimissed the application as it is an abuse of court process.
Tsoho however said paragraph 7 of the affidavit in the complainant’s application constituted strong and sensitive evidence bordering on the security threat posed to Kuje Prison and stay of the defendants.
“The court had earlier over ruled an application by the complainant that the defendants be remanded in prison custody and this application is unavoidably a renewal of that application.
“This current application is however supported by strong affidavit deposition as opposed by mere assertion,” he added.
The Judge ruled that the defendants shall be in DSS custody and shall be granted access to their counsels and family members.
Justice Tsoho adjourned the matter until May 23, June 6, 7, 19, 20 and 21 for commencement of trial.
The defendants are Mohammed Usman (a.k.a Khalid Al-Barnawi), Mohammed Bashir Saleh, Umar Mohammed Bello (a.k.a Abu Azzan), Mohammed Salisu (a.k.a Datti), Yakubu Nuhu (a.k.a Bello Maishayi), Usman Abubakar and a lady Halima Haliru.
The suspects were also accused of culpability in the murder of seven other foreigners in Borno State, who were abducted from another construction site in Bauchi state in February 2013, and taken to the Sambisa forest.
They are facing an 11-count charge for the abduction and murder of the victims.

Author: News Editor

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