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FG takes over prosecution of suspect behind Jos mayhem

By Ise-Oluwa IGE, Abuja
The Federal Government yesterday charged a total 109 suspected ‘terrorists’ who were allegedly behind the orgy of violence that seized Jos, the Plateau State capital, last month, before a Federal high court sitting in Abuja.

Of the 109 accused persons facing terrorism charge before the court, a total 106 were arraigned, yesterday.
The court deferred the arraignment of two others who challenged the jurisdiction of the Federal high court to try them, the ingredients of the offences allegedly committed by them, having occurred in Jos while the remaining one, Daniel Garba, could not be brought to court alive.

The police told the court yesterday that he fell ill while in detention and gave up the ghost.

The development which indicated that the Federal Government had taken over the prosecution of the accused persons contradicted earlier declaration by the Federation Attorney-General, Chief Michael Kaase Andoakaa (SAN) to give fiat to the state attorney-general to prosecute the accused persons.

The accused persons who were alleged to have been responsible for the slaughtering of well over 500 people and destruction of properties worth several millions of naira during the January mayhem were arraigned in batches yesterday before Justices Gabriel Kolawole and D C Okorowo.

They took turn to deny the charge.

Specifically, they were accused of carrying dangerous weapons and firearms without legal authourity to harass, maim and kill innocent citizens of the country.

Some of the counts in the charge read: That on or about the 20th day of January, 2010, you Emmanuel Danyaya ‘M’ 62 years, a retired railway worker, of Evangelical Church of West Africa, Gangare J os, in J os Plateau State within the jurisdiction of this honourable court was found in possession of one double barrel long gun without valid license granted by the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria. You thereby committed the above mentioned offence contrary to Section 3 of the Firearms Act Cap F28 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and punishable under Section 27 (1) (a) (i) of the same act.

* That on or about the 20th day of January, 2010, you Emmanuel Danyaya ‘M’ 62 years, a retired railway worker, of Evangelical Church of West Africa, Gangare J os, in J os Plateau State within the jurisdiction of this honourable court was found in possession of two revolver pistols without valid license granted by the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria. You thereby committed the above ,mentioned offence contrary to Section 3 of the Firearms Act Cap F28 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and punishable under Section 27 (1) (a) (i) of the same act.

* That on or about the 18th day of January, 2010, you Adamu Mohammed Rabiu, ‘M’ 15 years, a motor cycle mechanic of Yar Kasuwa, Rikkos J os, in J os Plateau State within the jurisdiction of this honourable court was found in possession of a short gun without valid license granted by the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria. You thereby committed the above mentioned offence contrary to Section 3, of the Firearms Act Cap F28 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and punishable under Section 27 (1) (a) (i) of the same act.

That on or about the 18th day of January, 2010 you Emmanuel Danyaya ‘M’; Adamu Mohammed Rabiu ‘M’; Samson Dala ‘M’; Bawa Lawai ‘M’; Bala Dala ‘M’; and Mohammed Buhari ‘M’ in Rikkos Area J os, Plateau State within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did conspire amongst yourselves and agree to do or cause to be done an illegal act to wit: Terrorist Acts within the territory of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. You thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 97 (1) of the Penal Code Laws of Nigeria and punishable under the same law, among other counts.

The city of Jos had been up in flames severally in the last sixteen years but the most striking ones that made headlines in both local and international media, occurred in 1994, 2001, 2008 and the last one which occurred in January 2010.

The origin of this current crisis, it was gathered, started from a trivial argument between two neighbours and later escalated to the burning of a church and the subsequent riot.

Eye witnesses said that rioters armed with knives, homemade firearms, and stones attacked passers_by and fought with security forces, leaving bodies in the street, churches and mosques.

The development forced the State Governor Jonah Jang to impose a curfew pending when violent attacks subsided.
Even in the outskirt of the Jos metropolis, particularly in Bukuru/Riyon axis, some neighborhoods were completely razed, recording up to 80 percent of internally displaced persons.


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