By IKECHUKWU NNOCHIRI
ABUJA— A FEDERAL High Court sitting in Abuja, yesterday, gave the Federal Government, seven days to arraign in court, Dr. Mohammed Nazeef Yunus, a lecturer at the Kogi State University, Ayingba, and five others arrested by the Department of State Service, DSS, following their alleged involvement with the Boko Haram sect.
Trial judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, held that since October 30, 2013, when the suspects were arrested, the government ought to have concluded its investigation on the matter and charge them to court, saying it would be unconstitutional to perpetually keep the accused person in detention.
The other suspects the court said should be arraigned within seven days are Umar Musa (a.k.a Abubakar), Mustapha Yusuf (a.k.a Habib), Ismaila Abdulazeez, Ibrahim Isa Hayafu and Salami Abdullahi.
It will be recalled that Dr Nazeef who was hitherto a lecturer in the Department for Islamic Studies was said to be the spiritual leader of a Boko Haram cell situated in Igala land in Kogi State. The DSS had maintained that the 44-year old lecturer, who hails from Idah, Kogi State and a graduate of Islamic University of Medina, Saudi Arabia, confessed that he had conducted several preaching sessions every last Saturday and Sunday of the month at Ethosho secondary school Ojiolo, Dekina, Kogi, where he had about 80 adherents.
He was also said to have confessed to teaching his adherents the virtues of Jihad (Holy war) and the sanctity of the Sharia system as an alternative form of governance.
While parading the suspects, Deputy Director of Information at the DSS, Ms. Marylyn Ogar further told newsmen that Dr Nazeef, aside having an extensive nexus with Boko Haram cells in Maiduguri, also facilitated the trip of two of his adherents to Boko Haram’s Sambisa camp in Maiduguri for training in weapon handling, allegations that were vehemently denied by the suspect who insisted that he was being framed up.
Meanwhile, the DSS had on November 25, 2013, obtained an ex-parte order from the court to hold the accused persons for 25 days to enable it conclude investigations on the matter, a period that has since elapsed. Consequently, the suspects, through their team of lawyers led by Mr Hassan Liman, SAN, and Mr James Ocholi, SAN, approached the court, asking it to set aside the ex-parte order, alleging that it was obtained surreptitiously by the respondent.