Miyetti Allah leader: Abuja court fixes May 29 for commencement of trial 

The trial of the detained leader of the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Bello Bodejo was on Monday adjourned to May 29, by Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

The court fixed the date after its ruling, in which it dismissed Bodejo’s application for bail. At the last adjourned date, the case was fixed for ruling and commencement of trial of Bodejo, but his absence in court stalled the trial from going ahead. 

Shortly after the court fixed the date for trial, his counsel, Dr Ahmed Raji, SAN, declared his client’s readiness for trial. 

He said since the court has ordered expeditious hearing in the matter, there would be no need to appeal the ruling on his bail.

The Miyetti Allah leader, who was arrested by the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) for unlawfully establishing an ethnic militia group,  Kungiya Zaman Lafiya to promote terrorism, has been in the custody of the DIA in Abuja.

He was arraigned in March on a three-count charge filed by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), in which he was accused of violating the terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022.

He denied all the charges. Before the court ruled on his bail application, Dr. Raji had pleaded with Justice Ekwo to admit his client to bail on various grounds ranging from ill -health to fundamental rights.

He asked the court for “an order admitting the defendant to bail on liberal terms pending the hearing and determination of the charges preferred against him.”

The senior lawyer predicated the bail request on the ground that Bodejo “suffers from grave ill-health and that the offences are bail able.” 

Citing Section 36 of the Nigerian constitution, Raji said his client is presumed innocent until proven guilty, adding that the charge against Bodejo did not disclose any crime against him.

Contrary to government assertions, Raji informed the court that launching of the group by his client was done in a public place with police commissioner and personnel of other security agencies as well as Nasarawa state government officials in attendance.

In an affidavit deposed to by Mohammed Musa, a brother to Mr Bodejo in support of the bail bid, he said the Miyetti Allah leader who was arrested by DIA personnel on 23 January, has “been denied access to his lawyers, family members, friends and well wishers.”

Musa described Bodejo as a “patriotic Nigerian citizen who goes about his business within the ambit of the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

The deponent further said that Bodejo “neither established nor has any involvement with the ethnic militia group as alleged in the charge against him.”

He  added that the essence of establishing the vigilante company was to provide security services to the members of the society and not to commit any act of terrorism as alleged by giving.

However, the federal government, through  its lawyer, Y.A Imana, urged the court to reject Bodejo’s bail application on the ground that charges against the defendant borders on threat to national security.

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