It was a shocking revelation yesterday at the federal high court sitting in Abuja when the alleged mastermind of the Christmas Day bombing of St
Theresa Catholic Church Madalla, Niger State, Kabiru Umar a.k.a Kabiru Sokoto told the court that he has never met with members of the
Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North, also known as Amnesty Committee.
The Minister for Special Duties, Mr. Kabiru Tanimu Turaki had recently claimed that his 25-member amnesty committee met with members of the Boko Haram sect; including Kabiru Sokoto and that the meeting took place at the Kuje Minimum Security Prison, Abuja where many members of the sect are being detained.
Turaki had told Nigerians that the parley was a confidence building measure between the committee and members of the Boko Haram sect.
He also claimed that the meeting was held in camera and that they had useful discussion with the detained members of the sect.
However, Kabiru Sokoto told journalists yesterday that the acclaimed meeting of the committee with him was a ruse as he was undergoing
trial before Justice Adeniyi Ademola on the said date of the meeting.
Sokoto, speaking through his lawyer, Mr. Sherrif Okoh told the judiciary reporters at the Federal High Court shortly after Sokoto’s
trial, that that claim by the Amnesty Committee, is blatant lie.
“Our client has confided in us that he never met with the Amnesty Committee. Even on the said date of the purported meeting, Kabiru
Sokoto was before Justice Ademola Adeniyi. So, we wonder where they met him” Sokoto’s lawyer disclosed.
The lawyer who appeared infuriated maintained that Kabiru Sokoto has been under the custody of the SSS and expressed surprise that a high
profile committee like the Amnesty Committee would come out and tell Nigerians that they met with the accused person at Kuje prison.
“These members of the Amnesty Committee have been brandishing lies, it is very wrong of them to come and say they held meeting with Kabiru
Sokoto; in fact, Kabiru has been under the SSS custody, he was not in Kuje prison; so it was a pure lie for a Committee of respected,
eminent and dignified persons to say they held a meeting with our client” Okoh revealed.
Even before Kabiru Sokoto’s lawyer raised alarm over the purportedmeeting, Justice Ademola Adeniyi was the first to raise eyebrows over
the claim by the Committee that it held meeting with the accused man.
The trial judge said he was bewildered when he read reports that the Amnesty Committee said it visited and held meeting with Kabiru Sokoto
at Kuje prison.
“The accused person is supposed to be under the custody of the State Security Services; in fact he was in court from morning to evening.
But the next day, the press reported that the Amnesty Committee said they visited and held meeting with Kabiru Sokoto in Kuje prison, this
is funny, Justice Adeniyi said.
Meanwhile, a prosecuting witness, Mr. ABC upon cross examination by Kabiru Sokoto’s lawyer told the court that the suspect had mentioned
to him the names, Bashir Mohammed and Mukhtari Kafanchan as the people that carried out the Christmas Day blast of St Theresa Catholic
Church, Madalla Niger State.
More so, Mr ABC said the blast was not a suicide bombing but a coordinated attack, which was perpetrated with the knowledge of the
“The Madalla blast was not a executed by a suicide bomber. It emanated from a car parked at the passage way of the Church, which was
detonated. That was actually what happened and there were no charred remains of persons found in the car after the blast that suggested it
was a suicide attack” Mr ABC told the court during his cross examination by Sherrif Okoh.
Mr ABC however said Kabiru Sokoto did not tell him that he parked the car but insisted (ABC) he had knowledge of the said vehicle.
Also, the prosecuting said the split in the hierarchy of the Boko Haram sect was caused by N40million according to the revelation of the
accused person, and that the terror suspect told him he got the sum of N500,000.00 (Five hundred thousand naira) as his share; which he used
part of the money to buy Quran and books.
Upon closing his cross examination, Sokoto’s lawyer, Sherrif Okoh put it to the prosecuting witness that was masked that, “I put it to you
that everything you said before this court is a lie”.
Another prosecuting witness, Mr DEF, personnel with the Department of State Security told the court upon examination by Mrs Chioma Onuegbu on behalf of the State how he led a team that rearrested Kabiru Sokoto in Sabon gida, Taraba State on February 10, 2012.
While being cross examined by Sokoto’s lawyer, Mr DEF told the court he found one Nokia phone and six SIM cards with the accused man at the
time he was rearrested.
However, the matter has been adjourned to May 16 and 17 for the
prosecution to bring more witnesses to testify before the court.