Suleja attack: We recovered 200 IEDs – Witness

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BY Ikechukwu Nnochiri

ABUJA—Nigerian Army, Thursday, told a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja that it recovered over 200 different explosive making devices meant to be used by six apprehended members of the Boko Haram sect to attack an event attended by Vice President Namadi Sambo in Kaduna State on July 28, 2011.

Testifying under cross-examination yesterday, a Senior Army officer, who led the team of soldiers that caught the six accused persons while on their way to Kaduna State same day, told the court presided over by Justice Bilkisu Aliyu: “If you prime the dangerous components of Improvised Explosive Device, IED, we caught them with,  them, it can bring down the whole of this high court building in matter of seconds.”

The witness, whose identity was not made known because of the sensitive nature of the case, had earlier told the court that in a bid to beat the security checkpoint that was mounted by soldiers at Gummel Junction in Kachia area of Kaduna State, the suspects hid themselves inside a trailer covered with trampoline.

He said: “We saw a big trailer coming and another car behind the trailer. Surprisingly, immediately we asked the trailer driver to remove his trampoline, two of the suspects jumped out.

“The second car also had another suspect who was carrying explosives which we immediately impounded. We also seized four handsets and N26,000, from him. While interrogating them, they said they were coming from Suleja.”

He also told the court how examination of the telephone handsets confiscated from the suspects revealed that they were each promised an inheritance of 72 virgins in paradise if they successfully carry out the act.

The six suspects, Shuaibu Abubakar, Salisu Ahmed, Umar Babagana-Umar, Mohammed Ali, Musa Adam and Umar Ibrahim, are standing trial over alleged multiple bombings in Suleja, Madalla and its environs, leading to the killing of 28 persons between March and July last year, according to the Department of State Security, otherwise known as SSS, which recommended their trial.

The accused persons had on September 30, 2011, pleaded not guilty to a five-count charge preferred against them by the Federal Government and have since remained in prisons from where they attend their trial.

According to the prosecution, the accused persons had, “between June 4 and July 12, 2011 (both dates inclusive) at various locations in Suleja, Niger state, Azare, Nasarawa state and the FCT, did engage in an act of terrorism by encouraging through training persons now at large, the use of arms and ammunition, and the preparation, planting and detonation of improvised explosive devices for the purpose of terrorism and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15 (2) of EFCC Act 2004 and punishable under the same section of the Act.”

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