Terrorism: I have no criminal record, says Miyetti Allah leader

The President of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Bello Bodejo, who is facing terrorism charges, has urged the court to release him on bail, saying he has no criminal records.

Bodejo, who is being prosecuted before the Federal High Court in Abuja, also  denied any involvement in the establishment of an ethnic militia group, Kungiya Zaman Lafiya.

He stated this through his brother, Mohammed Musa,  in an affidavit in support of his bail application dated March 28, 2024.

Musa said his brother only had a registered vigilante company that offered security services to the members of society and promoted peace.

He said, “The defendant/applicant neither established nor has any involvement with the Kungiya Zaman Lafiya ethnic militia group, as alleged in the charge preferred against him on the 12th March 2024.

“The defendant/applicant only established a vigilante company, which was duly registered under the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020 as Nomad Vigilante Nigeria Limited as opposed to an ethnic militia known as Kungiya Zaman Lafiya, as alleged by the complainant in the charge preferred against the defendant/applicant.

“The aim of establishing the vigilante company is to render security services to the members of society and promote peace but not to commit any act of terrorism whatsoever.”

In a counter-affidavit dated April 2, and deposed to by a litigation clerk in the Department of Public Prosecutions, Federal Ministry of Justice, Noma Ganau Wando, the Federal Government urged the court to dismiss the Bodejo’s bail application.

Wando also contended that contrary to Bodejo’s claim, he was not suffering a life-threatening illness.

Wando also said the defendant would not attend trial if granted bail.

He said, “All the facts deposed to by the deponent about ill health and heart failure, among others in the affidavit brought before this honourable court, have not been proven to be cogent, credible, material or genuine to support his application to enable the court to exercise its discretion in his favour.

“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.”

Bodejo was arrested on January 23 at the Miyetti Allah’s office in the Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa State for allegedly unveiling a militia group.

The Miyetti Allah leader was arraigned before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja on three counts of terrorism on March 22, 2024.

At the hearing on his bail application on Wednesday, his counsel, Dr. Sulaiman Usman (SAN), sought an adjournment, stating that the Federal Government, in its counter-affidavit, raised fresh issues he would need to respond to.

The prosecution lawyer, Y. A. Imana, did not oppose Usman’s plea for an adjournment.

Usman made an oral application for an order directing the Defence Intelligence Agency to grant  Bodejo access to his lawyers.

He told the court that his client needed access to his lawyers as well as adequate time to prepare for his trial.

 Usman said, “We urge Your Lordship to order the DIA to grant the defendant access to his lawyers. He needs to be prepared for the trial.”

But the prosecutor, in response, maintained that Bodejo had not been denied access to his lawyers.

She said, “I don’t agree with him. After the last time that court ordered that he should be given medical attention and lawyers, we wrote them and the feedback we got was that the counsel had visited him.”

In his response, Justice Ekwo said, “Report to the court at any time you are denied access to him.”

Credit Gist New Today News in Newspaper Nigeria Headlines

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