Boko Haram members
Tobi Soniyi in Abujaâ€¨
A Federal High Court in Abuja yesterday ruled that six suspected Boko Haram members accused of carrying out multiple bombings and killings in some parts of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Suleja have cases to answer.
The six suspects, Shuaibu Abubakar, Salisu Ahmed, Umar Babagana-Umar, Mohammed Ali, Musa Adam and Umar Ibrahim, who are being tried on a five-count charge, had filed an application for a no-case submission.
They had claimed that the prosecution did not lead enough credible evidence to sustain the charges against them.
They also claimed that the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case against them.
Ruling on the application, Justice Bilikisu Aliyu dismissed the no-case submission and held that the prosecution had established a prima facie case against the suspects.
She held: “After going through all the arguments, it must be noted at this point that the court is tolook at all the evidence presented to decide if they are enough to establish a prima facie case against the accused persons in order to warrant them to enter a defence.
“The evidence of the prosecution has disclosed a prima facie case against the accused persons, the accused persons should enter their defence to give explanations if they so wish.
“The no-case submission is hereby dismissed.”
Aliyu also ordered the prison authorities to allow the defence counsel to interact with the accused persons.
Recall that counsel to the accused persons, Nuraini Suleiman and Kevin Emeka Okoro, had while adopting their writtenaddresses in an application for ‘no-case submission’, argued that the “prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case against the accused persons.”
Suleiman insisted that no evidence was placed before the court to link the accused persons to the alleged offences.
He maintained that the evidence presented by the prosecution against the accused persons was hearsay and therefore in-admissible in law.
But the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Thompson Olatigbe, argued that the Federal Government had succeeded in establishing a prima facie case against the accused persons.
Olatigbe added that none of the evidence tendered by the prosecution was discredited during cross-examination.
He insisted that all of the evidence placed before the court were reliable enough for a safe conviction of the accused persons.
Olatigbe therefore urged the court to rule in favour of the prosecution and call on the accused persons to enter their defence.