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Arms importation: Court dimisses bail application of 3 Lebanese

Abuja – Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday dismissed the bail application filed by three Lebanese charged with possession of firearms.

They are; Abdallah Thaini, Mustapha Fawaz and Talal Roda.

Ademola held that the bail sought by the accused persons could not be given based on `national security’.

He said, “the allegations brought against you are grave and it is the responsibility of the court to ensure justice is done in the matter.

“In the circumstance, the application is refused and in its place, the court orders an accelerated hearing of the case.’’

On the call for reopening of the Amigo Supermarket and the Wonderland Amusement Park, both in Abuja and owned by Thiani, the first accused, the judge also turned down the prayer.

“Those business establishments should remain closed in the interest of public safety,’’ the judge held.

He adjourned the case to July 29, for definite trial.

The three Lebanese were charged with criminal conspiracy and unlawful importation of prohibited firearms.

They were arrested in connection with a large cache of arms found at a residence in Kano.

Chief Robert Clarke, the counsel to the accused, had on July 8 argued that Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution considered his clients innocent.

He submitted that the offence for which the accused persons were charged was bailable as according to him, a precedence has been set by a previous decision of the court.

Clarke submitted that the Terrorism Prevention Act was not a death sentence as he added that Sen. Ali Ndume, standing a similar trial was granted bail.

He urged the court to grant them bail on the grounds that the charge against them was weak, adding that “my clients are not directly linked to the arms cache’’.

He noted that the premises where the arms were found did not belong to any of the accused applicants.

However, Mr Simon Egede, the prosecution counsel, urged the court to discountenance the submissions of the defendants’ counsel.

Egede submitted that the accused persons confessed to have had military training back in Lebanon as freedom fighters.

He, therefore, urged the court to be wary of the accused persons’ personality, saying “they are alleged to be agents of the Hesbolla Terrorist group.’’

He further prayed the court to dismiss the bail application because the accused have dual nationality of both Nigeria and Lebanon.

Egede argued that they might jump bail because of the nature of the allegation. (NAN)


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