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Court remands Bodejo, fixes May 27 for trial

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Abdullahi Bello Badejo national president of the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore Fulani

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered that the leader of the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore group, Bello Bodejo, be remanded in custody of the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA).

The presiding judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo have the order for his remand after his arraignment on Friday.

The Miyetti Allah Leader was arrested on January 23 at his office in Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa State over the unveiling of a vigilante group.

The Attorney General of the Federation, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), had on February 5, 2024, filed a motion ex parte seeking to remand Bodejo pending the conclusion of the investigation and arraignment in court.

At the expiration of the order, the Justice Ekwo ordered the DIA to either arraign Bodejo or admit him to bail.

However, the DIA brought Bodejo to the court accompanied by heavily armed personnel of the service.

In the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/141/2024, the Federal Government preferred three counts of terrorism against Bodejo.
He was accused of setting up the group without authorisation.

“That you Bello Bodejo A. male, 38 years old of NO 2 Bodejo Street, Tundun Wada, Karu LGA, Nasarawa State, sometime in January 2024 did commit an offence to wit: you managed and participated in activities which, in your knowledge, is connected with act prejudicial to national security and public safety. You thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 2(3)(g)(xii) and Section 12(a) of the Terrorism Prevention and Prohibition Act 2022.

“That you, Bello Bodejo A. male, 38 years old of NO. 2 Bodejo Street, Tundun Wada, Karu LGA, Nasarawa State, sometime in January 2024 did commit an offence to wit: you provided material assistance logistics and transportation to 1,000 men which in your knowledge is connected with an act prejudicial to national security and public safety. You thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 2 (3) (g) (xii) and Section 13 (2) (b) of the Terrorism Prevention and Prohibition Act 2022,” the charges partly read.

Bodejo, however, pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to him.

The counsel for the Federal Government, Mohammed Abubakar, told the court that the prosecution was ready for trial.

He added that the prosecution has two witnesses penciled down for the trial, and could call more should the need arise.

Abubakar urged the court to fix a date for the commencement of the trial.

But the counsel for the defendant, Mohammed Sheriff, challenged the competence of the charge, noting that the amendment to the charges preferred against his client was done without the leave of the court.

Ruling on his bail application, Justice Ekwo ordered that the defendant be further remanded in the custody of the DIA.

Based on the prayer of the defence lawyer, Ekwo ordered the DIA to give the defendant the necessary medical attention.

Justice Ekwo also said he would allow 10 members of the defendant’s family to attend court and witness proceedings any day the case comes up.

The judge then adjourned the matter till May 27 for the commencement of trial.

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