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Boko Haram ‘negotiator’ Mamu arraigned, returned to SSS custody

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Alleged Boko Haram negotiator, Tukur Mamu, was arraigned yesterday on a 10-count charge before a Federal High Court in Abuja.

Mamu was charged with terrorism-related offences, including receiving ransoms from families of victims of the Abuja-Kaduna train attack, dealing with terrorists’ funds, obstructing the activities of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) committee to negotiate with those who kept victims of the train attack as hostages, exchanging voice notes with Boko Haram spokesperson, among others.

Mamu, who was arraigned alone, pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to him.

His lawyer, Mohammed Katu (SAN), argued the defendant’s bail application and prayed the court to admit Mamu on bail.

But the prosecuting lawyer, Mrs. Aderonke Imana, objected to the bail application on the grounds that Mamu’s health condition was not beyond what officials of the State Security Service (SSS) could handle.

Presiding judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo, reserved ruling to a date he said would be communicated to parties.

But he ordered that Mamu, who has been in the SSS custody since his arrest last year, should remain in the same custody pending the delivery of the reserved ruling.

The prosecution averred, in its counter-affidavit against Mamu’s bail application, that the defendant “is standing trial for terrorism-related offences in relation to the AbujaKaduna train attack in which several innocent lives were lost and so many others taken hostage”.

It added: “The offence for which the defendant/applicant is standing trial is one with national security implications in its ramification.

“The defendant/applicant will not show up for his trial, if granted bail, due to the gravity of the alleged offences and the severity of punishment prescribed by law.

“The defendant/applicant, being a man of influence and prominence, if granted bail, can influence, interfere with or intimidate prosecution witnesses and the intending prosecution witnesses may find it difficult to testify because of fear of being persecuted by the defendant/applicant.

“There is the likelihood that the defendant/applicant, if granted bail, will commit the same offence giving the prevalence of the alleged offences and his relationship with the terrorists.

“Considering the circumstances surrounding this case, granting defendant/applicant bail will jeopardise and undermine the objectives, purpose and functioning of the criminal justice administration.”

One of the counts in the charge reads: “That you, Tukur Mohammed Mamu, adult, male of 2b Ahmad Tijjani Road, Ali Ladan Street U/Dosa, Kaduna, Kaduna State, sometime in Year 2022 in Kaduna, gave support to the Boko Haram terrorist group to wit: you instigated the Boko Haram terrorist group to boycott the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Committee set up by the Federal Government to negotiate the release of the hostages (victims) of the Abuja-Kaduna train attack and acted as the negotiator for the payment, receipt and delivery of ransom payment from the families of the hostages (victims), you thereby committed the offence of giving support to terrorist groups for the commission of acts of terrorism, contrary to Section 13 (2) (c) of the Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022.” 

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