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Jos killings: Trial of 91 suspects begins

By Ise-Oluwa Ige

ABUJA—The Federal Government, last Friday, charged 91 persons suspected to have participated in the brutal killing of residents of Dogo Nahawa  and Razat villages of Plateau State before a Federal High Court sitting in Jos.

All the accused persons charged in batches are facing multiple count of terrorism. They are scheduled to appear before the Jos Federal High Court this week.

Mr. Thompson Olatigbe is leading a team of senior state counsel prosecuting them.

He told Vanguard, yesterday, that the government decided to charge the 91 fresh suspects before the Jos division of the Federal High Court in view of the fact that some of the accused persons earlier arraigned before the Abuja division of the court were challenging the territorial jurisdiction of the court to try them.

Sympathisers at the mass burial of victims in Jos

The accused persons had argued that none of the ingredients of the alleged offence committed by them occurred in Abuja. But the government had explained that they were brought to Abuja for trial on the sole consideration of peace in the crisis-ridden state.

In view of the strength of the objection, the government seemed to have agreed that Abuja could not be the right venue for their trial. Indeed, no fewer than  200 suspects were earlier arrested and arraigned by the Federal Government before the Abuja division of the Federal High Court over similar offence.

However, no fewer than 40 of the accused who appeared in court had challenged the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, Abuja, to try them.

In the instant charge preferred by government against the 91 accused persons who are mostly from Tsho Baba Angware Area of Jos East Local Government Area allegedly committed acts of terrorism on March 7, 2010, while armed with cutlasses, knives, machetes, charms and Indian hemps wraps to intimidate innocent citizens of Nigeria resident in Dogo Nahawa and Razat villages.

They were said to have caused death for several people, caused injuries for several others and damage to properties and natural resources contrary to Section 15 (2) of the EFCC Act 2004 and punishable under same section.

The city of Jos had been up in flames severally in the last 16 years but the most striking ones that made headlines in local and international media, occurred in 1994, 2001, 2008 and the last one which occurred in January and March 2010.


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