Bombing Of UN Building: FG Moves To Re-open Suspects' Trial
Plans to amend four-count charge SAN FRANCISCO, January 22, (THEWILL) - The Federal Government has indicated its intention to re-open the case of the four Boko Haram suspects being tried for alleged complicity in the bombing of the United Nations (UN) House in Abuja in 2011.
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja was on Wednesday approached for permission to reopen the trial of the four suspects just as the government indicated its plan to amend the four-count charge on which they are being tried.
The suspects - Salisu Mohammed, Inusa Mukailu, Dan'azumi Haruna and Abdulsalami Adamu -, who were arrested in Kano after the August 20, 2011 bombing, were thereafter arraigned on a four-count charge bordering on terrorism.
But the trial judge, Justice Gladys Olotu, closed the prosecution's case on November 22 ,2013,saying the prosecution failed to handle the case diligently.
Ruling on the matter, Justice Olotu expressed surprise that the prosecution, who applied for and got the court's permission for accelerated trial, was now reluctant to produce its witnesses months after the first witness testified.
She therefore ordered the defence to open its case, consequent upon which the defence filed an application for a no-case submission.
And when the case came up for hearing on Wednesday, defence counsel, A.
Obiduruzo, said the business of the day was the adoption of the written addresses in respect of the defence's no-case submission.
But prosecution lawyer, O.
Ohakwe told the court the she had filed two motions; one for permission to amend the current charge and the other, for permission to reopen the prosecution's case, saying the applications were informed by her discovery of new facts and the need to call four more witnesses.
The court could however not hear the application following the judge's observation that Ohakwe did not include the names of her fresh witnesses, witnesses statements and proof of evidence as required.
The defence lawyer though objected to the new motions by the prosecution, describing them as a ploy to further delay the case, the judge went ahead to hear them, saying the court must hear any motion, once it is filed, whether it makes sense or not.
Justice Olotu therefore ordered the prosecution to include all the necessary documents in the new motions before the next date as she adjourned further hearing till February 17 .