Eight persons suspected to be members of the fiery Islamic sect, Boko Haram, were arraigned yesterday in Abuja on a two-count charge of criminal conspiracy and causing grievous harm on people.
The suspects arraigned by State Security Service, SSS, include Shuaibu Abubakar, Mohammed Dalhatu, Salisu Ahmed, Ahmed Ezimakor, Umar Babagana, Mohammed Ali, Musa Adamu and Umar Ibrahim.
The SSS, which announced the arrest of the accused persons at a press conference in Abuja weeks ago, had dragged them before the court at Wuse Zone 2, on a holding charge, following their arrest in their hidden factory, where explosive devices were allegedly found.
They are being alleged to have at various times within the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, and Niger State prepared, planted and detonated improvised explosive devices, which led to the death of 16 persons at the Suleja office of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on April 8, 2011;
the death of three persons at a political rally on March 3, 2011 in addition to causing the death of three peace corps’ officers on May 23, 2011 at Dagna Village, Bwari and the death of three persons at the All Christians Fellowship Church in Suleja, Niger State, on July 10, 2011.
All the accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them. The Chief Magistrate Oyewumi Oyebola ordered that they be remanded in the custody of the SSS until October 4, 2011 when trial is expected to begin.
Though the accused persons were not represented by lawyers, the Chief Magistrate advised them to seek the service of lawyers to represent them at the next hearing, saying, “you have the right to get lawyers to defend you.”