13th July, 2011
Five persons suspected to have murdered the leader of the Boko Haram sect, Alhaji Mohammerd Yusuf, were on Wednesday docked before Justice Donatus Okorowo of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.
Their trial was however stalled following the directive of the court for the charge sheets to be consolidated since all of the accused persons were charged with the same offence.
The directive for consolidation of charges followed the introduction of Sergeant Adamu Gado as an accused person to join 4 others who were brought before the court earlier on a different charge sheet on alleged complicity in the murder of the leader of the Boko Haram sect.
The earlier suspects were ACP J. B. Abang, ACP Akera, ACP Adamu Buba and CSP Mohammed Ahmadu.
Their plea to the allegation of murder of Yusuf was yet to be taken when another charge was brought before the court linking Sergeant Adamu Gado to the same crime.
The prosecution team led by Mr. Raymond Ojabo told the court that the sergeant was at large at the time the earlier charge was filed against the initial four accused persons and that following his arrest, another charge was filed to include him among the initial suspects.
He also told the court that he intends to amend the initial charge filed against the earlier suspects as new discoveries had been made that had to be reflected in the charge.
Justice Okoro, after hearing Mr. Ojabo, directed that both charges be consolidated and the desired amendment made to streamline and make the trial tidy.
The court subsequently adjourned till Tuesday 21 July for the filing of the consolidated and amended charge and for the plea to be taken by the accused persons.
Mohammed Yusuf was born on the 29th of January 1970 in Girgir village in Yobe state and founded the militant Islamist Boko Haram sect in 2002. He was the group’s spiritual leader until he was killed in 2009. He was more commonly called Ustaz Mohammed Yusuf.
Yusuf was killed by Nigerian security forces in Maiduguri, Borno State, after being taken into custody. He was alleged to have tried to escape from custody.
He had four wives, the maximum allowed under Islamic tradition, and 12 children.
â€”Nnamdi Felix / Abuja