The Department of State Services has re-arraigned Husseni Ismaila, also known as Maitangaran, alleged to be the mastermind behind the 2014 multiple bomb attacks in Kano.
The re-arraignment took place at the Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday.
During the court proceedings, the prosecuting counsel, Mr E.A. Aduda, informed the court about the amended charge consisting of four counts against the defendant. Ismaila pleaded not guilty to all four counts.
Which reads in part, “That you, Husseni Ismaila, alias Maitangaran, a 34-year-old male, professed to be a member of Boko Haram, a terrorist group, therefore contravening provisions of the Terrorism Prevention Act 2013, and punishable under the same act.
“That you, Husseni Ismaila, alias Maitangaran, a 34-year-old male in 2014, directly participated in an act of terrorism and made a video message confessing to the crime of bombing the Kano Central Mosque.
“This led to the deaths of many Nigerians, including police personnel. The act contravened Section 1(2) (8) of the Terrorism Prevention Act, 2013, and is punishable under the same act.”
The charges allege that Ismaila professed to be a member of Boko Haram, a terrorist group, and directly participated in a terrorist act in 2014, confessing to bombing the Kano Central Mosque.
The prosecuting counsel urged the court to proceed with the trial following the defendant’s not-guilty plea.
However, the defense counsel, Mr Peter Dajang, raised objections, stating that the trial should not proceed because the prosecution had not complied with a valid court order.
Dajang mentioned that the court had ordered the transfer of the defendant from DSS custody to the Kuje Correctional Centre to allow access for lawyers and family members, but the DSS had not obeyed the order.
Dajang argued that the prosecution did not appeal the order when it was made and emphasized that the court could not sit on appeal over its own ruling.
Additionally, he stated that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the prosecution’s application to vary the order.
The prosecuting counsel countered by informing the court that an application to vary the order had been filed.
The judge adjourned the matter until January 25, 2024, to rule on the application to vary the order for the defendant’s transfer to Kuje. The substantive matter is scheduled to continue on February 7, 2024.
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