By KINGSLEY OMONOBI
ABUJA — Following the passing of the anti-terrorism bill by the Senate, and the renewed determination to tackle the menace of terrorism headlong, the Nigeria Police Force, yesterday, arraigned seven terror suspects before the Federal High Court, Abuja.
A statement signed by Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, CSP Frank Mba, named the suspects as Usman Sani, Abdulrahman Musa, Mahmud Mohammed, Kabir Mohammed, Umar Danjuma, Ibrahim Musa Abba and Abdullahi Lawan.
According to Mba, the suspects who were arraigned on a 13-count charge of various offences under the Terrorism Prevention Act, Laws of the Federation, 2011, were alleged to have been behind the bombing and robbery of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Alkalari Branch in BauchiState, on July 8, 2011.
The police alleged that the suspects stole about N17.8 million from the bank. The suspects were also accused of attacking and bombing the Alkaleri Divisional Police Headquarters just as they were accused of attacking and robbing the then Intercontinental Bank and Guarranty Trust Bank, both in Azare of a total of N36. 4 miliom.
The statement further read: “The charges indicated that the suspects at different operations, killed four persons, including three police officers. They were also charged with being in possession of assorted types of dangerous arms and IED materials.”
The suspects could not, however, take their pleas as they were not represented by lawyers, a situation the court considered fundamental to warrant the adjournment of the case till April 10, to enable them secure such services. The suspects are expected to take their plea when the court resumes on the adjourned date.
Meanwhile, the seven suspects have been remanded in prison custody.
Also the police said, yesterday, in Abuja that they have dislodged a terrorist cell in Minna, Niger State.
The Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 7 Command, Mr Suleiman Abba, told newsmen after releasing cheque of various sums of money to families of deceased officers in the zone that members of the cell had been arrested.
The AIG, who did not say when the gang was dislodged, noted that security in the Zone (FCT, Niger and Kaduna) had relatively improved following measures taken by the various commands.
He said: “A cell of terrorists was to operate in Minna but we were able to get them arrested before they could carry out their heinous activities,” noting that various weapons were recovered from the gang.
Speaking after releasing cheque to the beneficiaries, Abba urged them to use the money well by investing it in profitable ventures.
He also urged them to be wary of fraudsters, adding that they should always seek assistance from the police whenever the need arises.
The families of 33 deceased officers, including serving four policemen, who sustained various degrees of injuries, benefited from the insurance scheme.
Some beneficiaries received N350,000 while others got N500,000.
The AIG also used the occasion to decorate eight senior officers of the Zone 7 headquarters who were recently promoted.
Four Chief Superintendents of Police, CSPs, and four Deputy Superintendents of Police, DSPs, were decorated with their new ranks