The convicts were found guilty of masterminding bomb attacks in Niger and Nasarawa.
The Federal High Court on Tuesday in Abuja sentenced four persons, Shuaibu Abubakar, Salisu Ahmed, Umar Babagana-Umar and Mohammed Ali, to life imprisonment for causing the death of several persons through terrorist acts.
However, Justice Bilkisu Aliyu, while delivering the judgment discharged and acquitted Musa Adam on the grounds that none of the charges linked him to the actual commission of any terrorist act.
In similar vein, the judge sentenced Umar Ibrahim, the sixth accused person, to 10 years imprisonment, stating innocence and tender age for the reduction of his penalty.
“In the case of the sixth accused person, he was neither directly involved in terrorist acts nor trained as a terrorist; he was misled to be an errand boy,” the judge said.
“His brother, the first accused person (Shuaibu) used him to take food to Boko Haram training camp in Suleja; he is quite young and has life ahead of him.
“In view of the plea from his lawyer, Mr. Kevin Okoro, the court is persuaded to commit the sixth accused person (Ibrahim) to 10 years in prison.
“For the rest of the accused persons, the court is satisfied with the evidence brought against them. In most of the charges, the prosecution was able to prove beyond reasonable doubt why they should be convicted.
“It is clear that Abubakar, Ahmed, Babagana-Umar, and Ali are liable to the charges of causing death to several and injury to many others through their willful terrorist acts.
“It is also proven by the prosecution that the above four accused persons are members of Boko Haram and have undergone training to handle weapons and explosives for the purpose of causing death of innocent people.
“The convicts, minus the sixth accused person, used explosive materials used in blasting rocks on fellow human beings; those who got no defence.
“There is no human life that is worthier than the other. These convicts have deliberately used the explosives in the most brutal manner against other Nigerians,” the judge added.
Ms. Aliyu added that “In the circumstance, the first to fourth accused persons are guilty as charged and are sentenced to life imprisonment while the sixth accused is sentenced to 10 years in prison.
“For the fifth accused person, Musa Adam, his only offence was that he was a friend of Bashir Madalla, the leader of the Sect, Madalla Chapter.
“The evidence brought against him is not strong because the charges did not link him to have committed any terrorist act with the rest accused person.
“In his defence, he explained how he warned Bashir Madalla, with whom they were teaching Islamic religion together to refrain from activism.”
Earlier, defence counsel, Messrs Okoro and Nurunee Sulyman prayed the court to temper justice with mercy as according to them the convicts have young families to take care of.
They further urged the court to be merciful with its discretion because the convicts were first time offenders.
The State Security Service (SSS) on September 30, 2011 arraigned the six suspects for their involvement in bomb attacks in Niger and Nasarawa states.
They were alleged to have caused the death of several persons in the bombing of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) premises, All Christian Fellowship Church and the PDP political rally in Suleja Niger State.
The prosecution further linked them to the bombing of Azare Village that killed three persons and injured many in Nasarawa.
They were charged under Section 15 (2) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act 2004 and punishable under the law.
Speaking after the proceeding, Mr. Adam, who was set free, expressed satisfaction on his discharge and said, “I am truly innocent”.
However, he advised youth to be wary of contrary teachings by clergymen, saying that “a lot of religious teachers are responsible for the present religious activism in the country”.
The two defence counsel expressed willingness to test the strength of the judgment in a superior court.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...