Friday, 19 April 2013

# Africa News # LWN

Suspected Nigerian Church Bomber Pleads Not Guilty

               Kabiru Sokoto: pleads not guilty
Alleged mastermind of 2011 Christmas Day bombing of St. Theresa’s Catholic church in Madala, Niger state, Mr. Kabiru Umar, also known as Kabiru Sokoto, on Friday before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja pleaded not guilty to an amended two- count charge of terrorism slammed against him by the State Security Service, SSS.

Mr. Sokoto who spoke through an interpreter having claimed not to understand English, pleaded not guilty as the counts of the charge were translated to him in Hausa. .

According to PMNews,
The court presided over by Justice Adeniyi Ademola, after taking the alleged terrorist plea, adjourned trial to 2nd, 6th and 9th of May. He directed Kabiru’s lawyer, Mr. Ibrahim Adamu to front load every material document as well as list of defence witnesses, required for his client’s defence and to serve Ms. Chioma Odimegwu, the prosecutor, before the adjourned trial date to ensure that the trial moves speedily.

Justice Ademola further directed hat the alleged terrorist be remanded in Kuje Prison to enable his lawyers have unfettered access to him for the preparation of his defence.

The court further took notice of Kabiru’s wife and two young children who were in court to catch a glimpse of their father whom they had not seen since his arrest and detention at the SSS facility, and ordered that the Prison authority should grant the accused immediate family access to him on visitations.

Mr. Sokoto was alleged to have facilitated the commission of a terrorist act by planning and encouraging his boys who are said to be at large, at Mabira Sokoto in Sokoto state, with the intention to bomb the Police Headquarters in the state between 2007 and 2012.

He was also alleged to have been in possession of information about the bombing of 4t. Theresa’s Catholic Church on the 25th of December, 2011, but failed to disclose it to law enforcement officers within a reasonable time to forestall the incident and there by committed an offence contrary to section 7 (1) of the Terrorism Prevention Act 2013 and punishable under section 33 (1) of the same Act.

The suspected terrorist faces a life sentence if convicted of the alleged crimes.

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