An Abuja Federal High Court on Friday held that Kabiru Sokoto, a Boko Haram leader accused of masterminding the December 25, 2011 bombing of St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Madalla, Niger State, has a case toanswer.
The court presided by Justice Adeniyi Ademola, dismissed a no-case submission filed by the accusedperson.
The Federal Government had called six witnesses, who insisted on Sokoto’s guilt in their separate testimonies.
But Sokoto’s lawyers, led by Hassan Umar, argued that the prosecution did not establish a prima facie case against him.
The prosecution counsel, Mrs. Chioma Onuegbu, insisted that Sokoto was guilty of the charges brought against him.
Umar had dismissed the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses as hearsay.
But Onuegbu had asked the court to discountenance the defence counsel’s arguments.
She said, “It is my humble submission that, based on the testimonies of PW1 and PW2, and the exhibits before this honourable court, that there is a prima facie case against the accused person that calls on him to give an explanation.”
Ruling on the application, Justice Ademola held that the prosecution had indeed established a prima faciecase against Sokoto, and ordered him to open his defence on July 5, 2012.
Some prosecution witnesses had informed the court that, upon his initial arrest by the police, Sokoto had voluntarily confessed, admitting hismembership and role in the Boko Haram sect.
The witnesses said Sokoto was the governor of Boko Haram in Sokoto State, by virtue of his rank in the terrorist sect.