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Politics

Court Fixes May 29 For Trial Of Miyetti Allah Leader, Bello Badejo

leader of the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore Bello Badejo

Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja has scheduled May 29 as the commencement date for the trial of detained Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore leader, Bello Bodejo.

Naijaonpoint reports that the court made this decision after rejecting the accused person’s bail application.

The bail application was set for ruling during the previously adjourned date, and Bodejo’s trial started, but his absence in court delayed the proceedings.

Following the court’s decision to set a trial date, Bodejo’s counsel, Dr Ahmed Raji, SAN, confirmed his client’s readiness to face trial. Raji mentioned that since the court has ordered a speedy trial, there is no need to challenge the ruling on bail at this time.

Bodejo, who was arrested by the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) for allegedly forming an illegal ethnic militia group called Kungiya Zaman Lafiya, which the DIA claims was created to promote terrorism, has been in the custody of the Agency in Abuja.

Recall that the Miyetti Allah leader was arraigned in March on a three-count charge by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) for violating the Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022.

Bodejo has since pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Raji had implored Justice Ekwo to grant his client bail based on various reasons, such as ill health and the protection of his fundamental rights before the court made a decision on the bail application.

The lawyer also requested the court to release the defendant on lenient terms until the charges against him were heard and resolved. Raji justified the bail plea by highlighting Bodejo’s serious health issues and the bailable nature of the offences.

Referring to Section 36 of the Nigerian constitution, Raji emphasized that his client is presumed innocent until proven guilty, and argued that the charges against Bodejo did not constitute a crime.

In contrast to the government’s claims, Raji informed the court that his client’s group launch took place in a public setting with the presence of the Police Commissioner, other security personnel, and officials from the Nasarawa State government.

In a sworn statement made by one of his siblings, Mohammed Musa supported the bail request by stating that the Miyetti Allah leader, who was apprehended by DIA personnel on 23 January, has been deprived of contact with his legal counsel, family, friends, and well-wishers.

Musa portrayed Bodejo as a “loyal Nigerian citizen who conducts his affairs in accordance with the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

The affiant also asserted that Bodejo has no ties to the ethnic militia group as claimed in the charges against him.

He further clarified that the purpose of establishing the vigilante organization was to offer security services to community members, not to engage in terrorist activities, as alleged.

Nonetheless, the Federal Government, represented by its attorney, Y.A Imana, urged the court to dismiss Bodejo’s bail plea on the basis that the accusations against the defendant pose a threat to national security.

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