I’ve no criminal record – Miyetti Allah president tells court

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The detained President of the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Bello Bodejo, has told a Federal High Court, Abuja that he had no criminal record.

Bodejo, who was arrested on the alleged raising of an armed militia in detriment of the nation’s unity, told Justice Inyang Ekwo in a motion for bail filed by his lawyer, Ahmed Raji, SAN, that he has “suffered from grave ill-health in custody.

In the motion with charge number: FHC/ABJ/CR/141/2024 date and filed March 28, he sought an order admitting him to bail on liberal terms pending the hearing and determination of the case against him.

Recall that Bodejo, who was arrested on Jan. 23 in Malia, Nasarawa State and kept in the custody of the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), was arraigned before Justice Ekwo on March 22.

He was arraigned on three-count charge bordering on terrorism.

Giving nine grounds why he should be granted bail, the detained Miyetti Allah president said the offences with which he was charged were bailable ones.

“The defendant/applicant has no criminal record whatsoever,” he said.

According to him, his reputation attest not only to his reliability and credibility and also to the fact that he will not jump bail if this application Is granted.

He said he had “suffered from grave ill-health; an exceptional circumstance for the grant of bail.”

Bodejo argued that by Section 36 (5) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Besides, he said the charge preferred against him did not disclose a prima facie case against him.

He told the court that he would not interfere with the investigation or further investigation of the allegation(s) against him.

The defendant, who pledged to always be punctual in attending his trial, said he was ready to provide responsible sureties as may be required by the court.

But in a counter affidavit deposed to by Noma Wando, a litigation clerk in the Department of Public Prosecutions, Federal Ministry of Justice, he urged the court to dismiss Bodejo’s bail plea.

He said Bodejo was standing trial for terrorism-related offences bothering on establishment of an ethnic militia in Nasarawa State, management and participation in activities connected with acts prejudicial to national security and public safety.

The official alleged that Bodejo also provided material support, assistance and transportation for activities connected with such acts contrary to Sections 29, 2(3)(g}(xii) and 12(a) and Section 2(3)(g)(xii), and 13 (2)(b) of the Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022.

He said after his arraignment, the court ordered that he should be remanded in DIA, ordered an accelerated hearing and fixed trial for May 27 to May 30.

Wando disagreed that Bodejo was suffering from any life-threatening health condition that could not be managed at the DIA Medical Centre, Abuja.

He said the DIA is a next-door neighbour to the State House Medical Centre, Abuja “which boasts of the best of doctors and specialists and consultants.”

He said it can also cater for Bodejo’s medical needs if need be, “despite the fact that he is not suffering from any life-threatening health condition that cannot be managed” at the DIA Medical Centre.

He said contrary to Bodejo’s averments, he was diagnosed with only high blood pressure which had since been managed effectively and efficiently by the centre.

Abubakar averred that the detained Miyetti Allah president would not suffer any injustice if the bail was not granted.

He said this was so because “the Federal Government’s holding centres and custodial centres have always ensured that the medical needs of persons in custody are met and they have always undertaken to ensure that whenever the occasion arises special medical treatment is available to their inmates.”

Upon resumed hearing on Wednesday, counsel, who appeared for Bodejo, Dr Sulaiman Usman, SAN, told the court that they had a bail application which was slated for hearing.

Usman, however, said that they were not ready to proceed with the motion due to the fact that the prosecution had just served on them their counter affidavit the previous day.

The senior lawyer said they would need more time to respond to the new issues raised in the counter affidavit.

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

Usman equally made an oral application seeking an order for Bodejo to be granted access to his lawyers, which he said was required by law.

He said the defendant ought to be afforded adequate time and facility to defend himself.

But Imana disagreed with Usman’s submission that Bodejo was not given access to his lawyers.

She said she was unaware of the allegation.

The lawyer said besides that the prosecution had ensured that the last order of the court directing that Bodejo should be given access to his doctor was complied with, the defendant’s lawyer confirmed to her that he visited him (defendant) in custody.





Source link: Daily Post

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