By Akinwale Akintunde
The Court of Appeal in Lagos last Friday affirmed the judgment of a Federal High Court in Lagos convicting and sentencing three members Boko Haram, to 25 years imprisonment each.
The Appeal Court, in a judgment delivered by Justice Y.B Nimpar, rejected the appeal filed by the convicts and upheld the judgment of the court below.
Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court in Lagos had on September 30, 2014, handed down the verdict after the Lagos State Government, through the Ministry of Justice, successfully prosecuted the terrorists before the court.
The state government had filed charges against four accused persons for conspiracy to commit a felony to wit: acts of terrorism, concealing information about acts of terrorism and having possession of prohibited firearms and ammunition contrary to various sections of the Terrorism Prevention (Amendment) Act, 2013 and the Firearms Act, Cap F.28 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
Out of the four persons charged, three were sentenced to 25 years imprisonment each, while the fourth accused was discharged and acquitted.
Those convicted and sentenced are Ali Mohammed Modu, Adamu Ali Karumi and Ibrahim Usman Ali.
Dissatisfied with the verdict, the convicts through their lawyer, had approached the Appeal Court in Lagos, asking that the verdict be upturned on the grounds that they were charged under inapplicable laws, and that the 25 years terms of imprisonment were excessive.
One of the convicts, Ibrahim Usman Ali, had specifically argued that he was inadvertently convicted and sentenced for a count with which he was not charged.
While the Court of Appeal agreed that one of the convicts was wrongly convicted under a count with which he was not charged, it however affirmed the judgment of Justice Buba which convicted and sentenced the three terrorists to 25 years imprisonment each.