A Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday discharged a Boko Haram suspect, Usman Abubakar, who was arraigned alongside six others on an 11-count charge, bordering on abduction and murder.
The discharged 6th defendant was allegedly involved in the abduction of seven foreigners from a construction site in Bauchi State and helped in conveying them to Sambisa Forest, in Borno State, where they were slaughtered in February 2013.
At the resumed trial, Tuesday, the prosecuting counsel, Shuaibu Labaran, informed the court of the intention of the prosecution to withdraw charges against Abubakar, adding the prosecution has nothing against him.
Labaran said that among other features in the amended information is the “striking out” of Usman Abubakar as a defendant in line with an information filed on February 23, 2017.
Rather he said two other defendants; Mohammed Sani and Abubakar Abdulrahman Habib, were joined to the defendants culminating to a total of 8 defendants.
He further prayed the court for an adjournment to enable him produce the two new defendants who would subsequently take their plea and face trial.
The defence counsel however did not object to the adjournment application, but urged the court to make the prosecution to produce the new defendants in court on the next adjourned date with relevant documents to foster a healthy and speedy trial.
Counsel to the discharged suspect, Kareem Abdulkarim observed that his client had stayed a long period of time in custody of the State Security Service and urged the court to make an order to immediately release him.
The trial Judge, Justice John Tsoho, in a short ruling struck out the name of the 6th defendant who has spent 5 years in custody as an accused person and ordered his immediate release.
The court adjourned till June 19 for continuation of trial