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53 suspected Boko Haram members docked

Bauchi -  Fifty-three of the 161 suspected Boko Haram sect members Monday  appeared before a Bauchi Magistrate’s Court on treason charges. They were also charged with eight other capital offences.

According to the prosecution, the charges comprise culpable homicide, treason and treasonable felony, illegal possession of firearms, criminal conspiracy, causing hurt, inciting public disturbance and joining unlawful assembly.

The accused, including Rukayya Abdullahi, a female, were brought to the court amidst tight security.

They were arrested on July 26, after an attack on Dutsen-Tension Police Station in Bauchi metropolis, during which more than 40 people lost their lives.
Prosecuting police officer, Sukuji Bandawa, told the court that the attack was like a prelude of a grand ploy to topple the Federal Government, to destroy government establishments and to cause a breach of the peace in the country.

The First Information Report (FIR) read by Bandawa, stated that a soldier, Mr Wanga Ezenchukwu and one Simon Dare were killed by the suspects.
Bandawa said the police had recovered one AK47 rifle, some locally made guns, rounds of ammunition, gun powder, three locally made bombs, assorted bags of food items, motor-cycles, sewing machines, cars, military and police uniforms.

He said the offence contravened Sections 79, 102, 221,248, 411, and 412 of the Penal Code. He said the police had concluded their investigation.
“We are aware that this court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the case and we pray for adjournment to enable the prosecution file the case before a more court of competent jurisdiction,” Bandawa said.

Responding, counsel to the accused, Mr Abubakar Muhammad, urged the court to admit the suspects to bail due to their health condition and the respect for their fundamental human rights.

“The suspects are suffering from various ailments and as such, they need proper medical attention.Denying them bail as stipulated under Section 41 of the Constitution is a gross violation of fundamental human rights,” he said.


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