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Boko Haram: FG Opposes Bail Application For Kogi Varsity Lecturer, Two Others

Source: thewillnigeria.com

SAN FRANCISCO, February 10, (THEWILL) -  The Federal Government Monday expressed its opposition to the bail application for the Kogi State University lecturer, Dr.

Nazeef Yunus,  and two others, undergoing trial for allegedly belonging to  Boko Haram, saying  if the suspects are granted bail, they would constitute a security threat to the nation.

Counsel to the Federal Government, M.
B.
Jones-Nebo, who is the prosecutor in the case against the suspects, while opposing the bail application, told a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja,  that the gravity of the offences  which the accused were charged attracted death on conviction , since, according to her, a prima facie case had been established against them.

The prosecutor also opposed the medical report  brought by one of the suspects, describing it as an after-thought since the report was signed after the accused person was arrested.

She maintained that the disease allegedly being suffered by the second accused person was one that could be treated by the medical personnel in the prison where he is being detained currently.

The trial judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole , therefore fixed February 28 for ruling  on the  bail application for the suspects.

The Kogi University lecturer, Yunus, along with  Umar Musa and Salami Abdullahi are being arraigned for allegedly leading  a Boko Haram cell in Kogi State.

They have however pleaded not guilty to the eight-count charges following which their lawyers  separately  applied  for bail on their behalf.

When the case came up for hearing on Monday, the first accused through his counsel, Hassan Liman, SAN, urged the  court to admit him to bail pending trial.

Liman submitted that the court should consider the constitutional provision of presumption of innocence which an accused person enjoyed until it was determined otherwise.

On the issue that one of the offences carried the death penalty on conviction,  Liman argued that the court still had the discretion at the moment since the accused person had not been convicted.

Also the second accused person through his counsel, James Ocholi, SAN, prayed the court to admit him to bail.

He based his application on medical ground, saying  he was being treated  submitting at Garki Hospital, Abuja as he presented a letter to that effect   to the court.

Ocholi further submitted that going by the proof of evidence placed before the court, there was nothing linking the second accused person to the alleged crime.

The third accused person, Abdul Mohammed, submitted that  the proof of evidence  showed that the prosecution had finished investigation and hence there was no possibility of tampering with investigation.

He further noted that the prosecution did not disclose the identity of the witnesses it would call and so, the third accused could not interfere with the witnesses.

In the eight count charge, the accused persons were  alleged to have engaged in acts of terrorism.

  They were accused of illegal possession of weapons, including two AK47 rifles, two magazines and 60 rounds of ammunition.

They were also accused of recruiting and organising members of the Kogi State Boko Haram cell, in addition to funding the outlawed terrorist organisation.

Abdullahi, a  businessman, who reportedly owned a filling station in Kogi State, was equally accused of using the premises of the enterprise to facilitate terrorist activities.

The suspects  have been in the custody of the State Security Service since their arrest in October 2013 on the suspicion that they were    planning to carry out an attack in parts of Kogi State before they were arrested at a mosque in Zuba, a town near Abuja, while on their way to Zambisa in Maiduguri, Borno State, for training.

The security agency said the suspects, who are currently being remanded in prison,  planned to install Sharia in Kogi State.