The suspects have been transferred to Kuje Prison.
Talal Rodo, one of the three Lebanese standing trial for alleged terrorism, on Friday, admitted knowledge of the existence of the arms in a Kano bunker.
Mustapha Fawaz and Abdallah Thahani are the two other Lebanese standing trial over terrorism charges bordering on arms hoarding and illegal importation of firearms. The counsel to the suspects also told the court they were questioned by foreign intelligence agents while in the custody of Nigerian security officials.
Mr. Fawaz is a co-owner of Abuja’s Amigo Supermarket which has since been shut down by Nigerian security officials.
Mr. Rodo, the third accused person, had opened his defence before Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
While testifying, he further admitted being a resident at No. 3 Gaya Road in Kano where the arms were discovered.
According to him, he was drafted to service the arms on the instruction of the owner of the building, Abdulhassan Tahir.
“Tahir told me that those arms were licensed and I had no reason whatsoever not to believe him.
“I was also afraid to report to the police because I felt it might be a risk for me,” he said
Earlier, Mr. Ademola granted an application filed by the three accused persons seeking transfer from the custody of the State Security Service (SSS).
The judge held that “since there is no objection from the prosecution, the court orders that the three accused persons be taken to Kuje Prisons.’’
Ahmed Raji, counsel to the accused persons, alleged that his clients were being further subjected to interrogation by foreign agents at the SSS custody during the pendency of the case.
“My clients have made the request based on the fact that they are afraid to stay in the SSS custody to give evidence in defence of their case.
“The First and the Second accused persons are afraid to stay in the SSS custody any longer.
“We are urging the court to order their transfer to a neutral place so that they can come to court with a free mind and express themselves in the evidence they shall give before this court,” he said.
Mr. Raji stated further that the accused persons demand was based on the infiltration of the custody by investigators perceived to be foreigners.
“They said they were interrogated by foreigners for 14 days.
“The foreigners speak Arabic, and they were not to be seen face to face as they often wear masks.
“Based on this, My Lord, we humbly apply that they should be transferred to Kuje prisons or any other facility.
“This will guarantee them the serenity of mind and confidence to come to court and testify in their case,” he said.
Furthermore, Mr. Raji said that the accused persons were contemplating an open demonstration before the court against their label as international terrorists.
“My Lord, this is predicated on non-existence of state of affairs.
“Under Nigerian law and in particular, the terrorism Act section 9, neither Hezbollah as a body nor any of its arm, branches or departments has been declared an international terrorist in Nigeria.
“Therefore, we are urging the Court to take judicial notice of count 1, 2, 3,4,5,6, and 16 of the charge as they have no reason to stand,” he said.
He said further that the accused persons would call at least a witness from Lebanon to testify as to the correct status of Hezbollah in Lebanon.
“The detail of such is to determine whether it is a Political Party in Lebanon, because all I know is `Hezbollah is part of the Lebanese government’.
“It has ministers in the cabinet and members in the parliament. It is a body that enjoys the support of the United Nations and other International bodies.
The matter was adjourned to August 5 for continuation.
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