Lagos Gives Details How 3 Boko Haram Members Were Jailed 75 YearsFeatured, Latest News, News, News From The State Thursday, October 2nd, 2014
The Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ade Ipaye has given details how three Boko Haram members were jailed for 75 years cumulatively by the Federal High Court few days ago.
The Federal High Court carried out the trial of the convicts in cameral shutting out pressmen from the proceedings.
At a news conference on Thursday in Lagos, Nigeria, Lagos Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ade Ipaye narrated how the whole issue all began to the point of conviction of the convicts.
The Attorney General said as a result of its surveillance efforts, the Department of State Security carried out a coordinated raid of suspected terrorists around Lekki and Ijora areas of Lagos in March 2013, leading to arrest of 17 suspects on suspicion of terrorism.
“Several improvised explosive devises, remote controlled detonators, firearms and ammunition were found concealed at two of the locations. Following the submission of investigation report by the Department, the Attorney General of Lagos State obtained a fiat of the Attorney General of the Federation to prosecute the suspects at the Federal High Court under the Terrorism (Prevention) (Amendment) Act, 2013 and other relevant statutes.
“In November 2013, the Accused Persons were eventually arraigned before Hon. Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court, Lagos Division, on various charges, including (i) conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism contrary to section 17 and 17(b) of the Terrorism Act, 2013; (ii) conspiracy to commit a felony under section 516 of the Criminal Code Act; (iii) concealing information about acts of terrorism contrary to section 8(1) of the Terrorism Act; and (iv) committing acts preparatory to or in furtherance of acts of terrorism contrary to section 1(2)(b) of the same Act; (v) having in their possession prohibited firearms and ammunition contrary to sections 3 and 27(1)(a) and sections 8 and 27(1)(b) of the Firearms Act and (vi) knowingly entering into an arrangement as a result of which money is to be made available for the purpose of terrorism contrary to section 13(2) of the Terrorism Act, 2013,” he explained.
He said before the arraignment, the prosecution team led by him applied to the judge to hold the hearings in camera for purposes of safety and security, as this application was supported by all Counsel to the accused persons and granted by the learned trial judge. Proceedings were then ordered to be held in camera.
“In the course of trial, the Attorney General entered nolle prosequi in favour of 13 of the accused persons arrested with the Principal suspects, but whose link to the plot could not be established. They were consequently discharged by the court.
“At the hearing, the prosecution called 6 witnesses who tendered various exhibits, including improvised explosive devises which were admitted in evidence during a special court sitting at a remote location,” he explained.
He said even though the prosecution tendered statements and video recorded interviews in which the first three Defendants acknowledged membership of the Boko Haram sect and knowledge of plans to bomb unidentified locations in Lagos, they all denied the charges and disowned their statements while testifying personally in their own defence.
“However, the trial judge disbelieved the 1st to 3rd Defendants’ testimony and found them guilty on all the counts charged and were each sentenced to a term of (25) twenty-five years imprisonment.
“The 4th accused person who only promised to provide money for “bail” of the 1st Accused person was discharged and acquitted on the basis that there was insufficient evidence linking him to the plan,” he explained.
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