21 February 2013

Nigeria: Seven Boko Haram Members Arraigned for Bank Robbery

Abuja — Seven persons alleged to have robbed some banks in Bauchi State in 2011 for the purpose of raising funds to support the Boko Haram sect were yesterday arraigned before a Federal High presided by Justice A. R Mohammed on a 13-count charge.

Also, about 20 Boko Haram suspects awaiting trial in Kuje Prison, in a bold move to register their grievances over the poor state of Nigerian Prison, yesterday protested their non-trial by the Prison authorities since last year.

The accused persons, Usman Sani, Abdulrahman Musa, Mahmud Mohammed, Kabir Mohammed, Umar Danjuma, Ibrahim Musa Abba and Abdullahi Lawan, allegedly, on July 18, 2011 and December 4, 2011, at Alkaleri town in Bauchi State, with intent to raise funds and support Boko Haram's terrorists activities, armed themselves with dangerous assorted weapons, improvised explosive devices, and robbed Unity Bank of Nigeria Plc, Alkalari branch in the state, carting away the sum of N17.8 million, an offence of rendering support for terrorism contrary to section 4(1)(a) of the Terrorism Prevention Act 2011 and punishable under section 4(2) of the Act.

Meanwhile, the inmates, who expressed their displeasure to the Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro, when he visited the maximum prison, claimed that they have been in detention for a period of one year without being tried by a court of competent jurisdiction.

One of the suspects, who spoke on behalf of other inmates disclosed that he has spent eight years in Kuje Prison, and blamed the slow justice system on the over crowdedness of Nigeria prisons.

"We therefore urge you the Minister to help us by doing everything within your power to fast-track the Justice system in the country, because not all Inmates in the Prison are criminals," he said.

The inmates further pleaded with the minister to provide additional vehicles to the Kuje Prisons so as to facilitate their movement to court for trial.

The Boko Haram suspects were arrested in Kano and Borno States last year on the suspicion of having link with the dreaded sect that have been waging war in the north eastern part of the country.

Responding, the minister assured the Inmates that the Federal Government was working on modalities to improve on the Justice System in the country by establishing a special court trial court.

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