Nigerian Govt. Charges Miyetti Allah President, Bodejo With Terrorism

by Ohepo Ohepo

The Federal Government of Nigeria has charged Bello Bodejo, the President of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, with terrorism in accordance with the directive of the Federal High Court.

Bodejo was accused of harming Nigeria’s national security by forming and arming an ethnic militia group without permission in the terrorist accusations dated March 12.

The charges stated in part, “That you, Bello Bodejo, Male, Adult, committed to commit an offence to wit: you established an ethnic militia known as Kungiya Zaman Lafiya without authorization and thereby committed an act prejudicial to national security and public safety, an offence punishable under Section 29 of the Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022,” on or before the 17th day of January, 2024, at Lafia, Nasarawa State, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court.

Bodejo was taken into custody on January 23 at the Miyetti Allah headquarters in Nasarawa State’s Karu Local Government Area in connection with the purported formation and equipping of a vigilante group.

On February 5, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), the Attorney General of the Federation, submitted a request ex parte asking for Bodejo to be placed under remand until the DIA’s investigation was completed and he was formally charged.

After receiving an ex parte motion, Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja remanded Bodejo for a period of fifteen days.

The Federal Government was given seven days by the judge to file charges against Bodejo after the 15-day period ended on February 22.

Nevertheless, the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) in Abuja declined to appear in person before the Federal High Court on Wednesday to arraign the President of Miyetti Allah, who is now in custody.

When the detainee failed to appear in court, Justice Ekwo questioned federal government attorney Y.A. Imana about whether charges had been brought against Bodejo.

“You should charge the detainee before a court of competent jurisdiction, as this court ordered,” the judge declared. Where is the evidence that you presented to this court when you filed the charges?

The court questioned why the charge was not in front of him, but the government attorney clarified that the charge had been filed yesterday.

At this time, Mohammed Sheriff, Bodejo’s attorney, told the court he had filed an application to have his client released unconditionally from the custody of the Defence Intelligence Agency.

The attorney begged the judge to grant his client’s request for bail.

He said, “We are requesting to be granted bail for the applicant until their arraignment before a court of competent jurisdiction. Our bail application is dated February 26, 2024.”

However, the detainee’s bid for bail was sharply opposed by the prosecution’s attorney, Y.A. Imana, who asked the court to reject the motion on the grounds that the charges against the detainee have to do with jeopardizing the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s national security.

“We pray this court to dismiss the detainee’s bail application because it is a matter that touches on national security,” she stated.

Following the lawyers’ arguments, Justice Ekwo set a hearing date of March 22 for his decision on whether or not to approve the bail request.

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