May 29, 2024

FG withdraws terrorism charge against detained Miyetti Allah’s leader, Bodejo

FG withdraws terrorism charge against detained Miyetti Allah’s leader, Bodejo

By Ikechukwu Nnochiri, Abuja

The Federal Government, on Wednesday, withdrew the three-count terrorism charge it entered against the detained President of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Bello Bodejo.

Bodejo was arrested at Miyetti Allah’s office in Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa State shortly after he unveiled a vigilante group.

FG alleged that he established an ethnic militia in Nasarawa State, adding that the defendant was involved in the management of activities connected with acts that were prejudicial to national security and public safety.

It told the court that Bodejo provided material support, assistance, and transportation for activities connected with acts of terrorism, contrary to Sections 29, 2(3)(g}(xii) and 12(a) and Section 2(3)(g)(xii), and 13(2)(b) of the Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022.

The defendant has been in custody of the Defence Intelligence Agency, DIA, since January 23, even though the trial court on March 22 okayed his detention.

Based on the strength of an affidavit that was filed by FG, the court, on May 27, refused to release the defendant on bail, though it ordered an accelerated hearing of the charge against him.

However, when the case was called up on Wednesday for the commencement of the hearing, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, applied to withdraw the charge.

A lawyer from the office of the AGF, Mrs. Aderonke Imana, moved an oral application for the withdrawal of the case.

She predicated the application on the provision of Section 108 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA,  2015, as well as the powers of the AGF under Section 174 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

“Consequently, the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation has instructed me to withdraw this charge against the defendant in the interest of justice.

“That is our humble application, my lord,” Mrs. Imana added.

Bodejo’s team of lawyers led by Mr. Ahmed Raji, SAN, said they were not opposed to FG’s decision to terminate further proceedings in the matter, even as they thanked the AGF for his “magnanimous gesture.”

In a brief ruling, trial Justice Inyang Ekwo discharged the defendant of the allegations against him.

A count in the charge against the defendant, marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/141/2024, which the court struck out on Wednesday, read: “That you, Bello Bodejo, Male, Adult, on or before the 17th day of January. 2024, at Lafia, Nassarawa State, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, committed an offence to wit: you established an ethnic militia known as Kungiya Zaman Lafiya, without authorization, and thereby committed an act prejudicial to national security and public safety, and an offence punishable under Section 29 of the Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022.”