Kabiru Sokoto is accused of masterminding the church bombing in Niger State, North central Nigeria.
The arraignment of a Boko Haram suspect, Kabiru Umar, aka Kabiru Sokoto, at the Federal High Court on Wednesday in Abuja was stalled due negligence on the part of the prosecutor, the federal government.
The judge, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, held that the time was not ripe for the suspect to take his plea.
Mr. Ademola said the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Auta Ibrahim, has instructed that terrorism charges are handled with dispatch.
“The court is ready to go on but for the negligence on the part of the prosecution not to do the needful. In the light of the above, the suspect shall return to the court on April 19 to take his plea.
“The prosecution is mandated to file and serve the suspect with the statement of evidence seven days before the new date of arraignment,” he said.
The judge ordered the prosecution to prepare trial indictment and evidence and serve same on the suspect.
“A written case summons should be served on both the court and the suspect.
“The prosecution should also specify whether it has further evidence to produce. The following documents will properly guide the management of the case.
“The suspect is to be remanded in the custody of the State Security Service (SSS),’’ he said.
The suspect had prayed the court to avail him two weeks to seek the services of a lawyer.
He further told the court that an operative of the SSS only informed him about the arraignment in the morning of the day he was to be taken to court.
The charges alleged that the suspect, a leader of the insurgent Boko Haram between 2007 and 2012, at Mabira Sokoto, Sokoto State, facilitated the execution of a terrorist act.
According to the charge, the suspect thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act 2004.
The charge further alleged that `Kabiru Sokoto’ on or about December 25, 2011 at the St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Madalla, Niger State had information about the bombing of the Church but failed to disclose it to law enforcement officer.
The charge further alleged that the suspect about July 2011 at Abaji, supported the act of terrorism by training about 500 men and inciting them to commit a terrorist act.
The charge said that the suspect committed an offence contrary to Section 4(1) (a) of Terrorism and Prevention Act 2011; and punishable under Section 33(1) (b) of the same Act.
The spokesman of the SSS, Marilyn Ogar, on February 10, 2012 told journalists in Abuja that Kabiru Sokoto was arrested at Mutum in Gassol Local Government Area of Taraba.
She said that the suspect was first arrested on January 1, 2012 by the police but escaped from custody two days later when he was being taken to his residence at Abaji in Abaji for a search.
Ms. Ogar said that he was re-arrested in a joint military-SSS operation at a hideout.
The spokesperson said that Kabiru Sokoto was picked up from where he was hiding in clothes rack at the residence of an accomplice.
She said that on his escape, `Kabiru Sokoto’ had taken refuge at Umaisha in Toto Local Government Area of Nasarawa State before he fled to Taraba where he was eventually re-arrested.
The security spokeswoman said that the 29-year-old suspect was born to the family of Umaru Jabbi of Gagi Village in Sokoto South Local Government Area on May 9, 1983.
She explained that upon the death of his father, the suspect’s uncle, Abubakar Dikko, adopted him.
The spokesperson said that the suspect, who completed his secondary education in 2003, was admitted to the College of Nursing and Midwifery, Sokoto; and described him as a “truant with extremist tendencies’’.