Law News
Court Sentences Boko Haram Financier to 10 Years Imprisonment


Justice Saliu Saidu of the Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday sentenced a financier of the dreaded Islamic sect, Boko Haram, to 10 years’ imprisonment with hard labour.

The Boko Haram financier was among four suspects secretly tried before the judge by the Department of State Security (DSS).

The suspects included Adamu Mohammed, Mohammed Mustapha, Bura Husseni and Mohammed Ibrahim.

Efforts by journalists to get details of the allegations against the suspects and other details about the conviction were unsuccessful as no one was willing to divulge the information.

It was however gathered that one of the suspects was convicted and sentenced to 10 years jail for sponsoring Boko Haram, while the other three were released by the judge.

The suspects were said to have been prosecuted by Mr. P Okerinmodu on behalf of the government.

When the suspects were brought in to the courtroom under heavy security, all other people in court were ordered out except the lawyers, court registrars and the judge.

Justice Ibrahim Buba, also of the Federal High Court in Lagos, had sentenced three members of the sect to 25 years each, after finding them guilty of belonging to the outlawed fundamentalist group, Boko Haram.

The suspects were arrested in Lagos with explosives and other dangerous items.

They were said to have been arrested while planning to attack Lagos, the economic capital of Nigeria.

The sect members, the first set to be arrested and convicted in Lagos, were rounded up on March 21 while planning to launch an attack.

In the charge against them, the prosecution alleged that the accused persons committed the offences at Plot 5, Road 69, Lekki Phase I Housing Estate, and No. 24, Oyegbeni St., Ijora-Oloye, Apapa-Iganmu, Lagos.

Their trial was conducted in camera pursuant to application by the prosecuting authority, the Lagos State Government, that there was need to protect the witnesses in the case.

Justice Ibrahim Buba gave his judgment in secret and pronounced the three convicts guilty of the terrorism charges.

The 17 suspects initially charged were arraigned before Justice Buba on 18 counts of conspiracy to commit terrorism, illegal possession of firearms, and being members of a proscribed organisation.

They included Ali Mohammed, Adamu Karumi, Ibrahim Usman, Bala Haruna, Idris Ali, Mohammed Murtala and Kadiri Mohammed.

Others were Mustapha Daura, Abba Duguri, Sanni Adamu, Danjuma Yahaya and Musa Audu and Mati Daura, Farouk Haruna, Abdullahi Azeez, Ibrahim Bukar and Zula Diani.

But the case was discontinued against all the accused except the first four.

Out of the four, Haruna was discharged also by Justice Buba on the ground that the government failed to prove the allegation of terrorism funding against him.

Haruna was alleged to have agreed to provide funds to facilitate the escape of the first convict, Ali Mohammed, from detention.

However, Justice Buba sentenced the first three accused persons – Ali Mohammed, Adamu Karumi and Ibrahim Usman – to 25 years imprisonment each for participating in acts of terrorism.

They were alleged to have been caught in possession of three packets of explosive construction pipes, 15 detonators, and 11 AK47 rifles with 30 rounds of live ammunition.

The other items allegedly found in their possession included 200 rounds of 7.6 millimetres live ammunition, two suitcases containing explosives, and a water container filled with explosives.

According to the prosecution, the offences contravened provisions of Sections 13(2) and 17(b) of the Terrorism Act 2013.

It also contravenes Sections 1, 8, 27 (1) (a) and (b) of the Firearms (special provisions) Act, Cap F28, Laws of the Federation, 2004, and punishable under Section 8 of the same act.

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