Leadership (Abuja)

30 January 2013

Nigeria: ThisDay Bomber Refuses Arraignment

The scheduled arraignment of a suspect alleged to have masterminded the bombing of SOJ Plaza in Nigeria’s Kaduna state occupied by ThisDay, ... ( Resource: Thisday Office Bomber Requests For Lawyer

The federal government yesterday charged a man, Mr. Mustapha Umar alleged to have participated in the coordinated series of bomb attacks on the building housing three media organisations in Kaduna in 2012.

However, the arraignment of the suspect could not proceed on Monday as he complained of not having a lawyer.

Mustapha further told the court that since his arrest in April 2012 he had not been allowed any visitor, hence his inability to get a lawyer.

He asked the court to provide him with a state witness, a request the trial Judge Justice Adebiyi Ademola, rejected saying that the Legal Aid Act does not cover terrorism cases.

Upon no objection on the part of the police counsel, Mr Simeon Labaran, the court ordered that the suspect be remanded in the Kuje Prison and adjourned the case to February 5 to enable the accused get legal representation.

Justice Ademola further ruled that if the defendant is unable to get a lawyer on the next adjourned date, the court will go ahead with the case against him.

Mr. Umar is standing trial for allegedly driving a white Honda car laden with Improvised Explosives into the SOJ Plaza which housed the ThisDay Newspapers office in Kaduna on the 26th of April, 2012.

A similar attack was simultaneously staged at the offices of The Moment Newspapers and the Sun Newspapers also located in the same building as the ThisDay office, in the Kaduna State capital.

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