30th March, 2012
The State Security Service (SSS) on Thursday arraigned a 35-year-old businessman, Haruna Hassan, on a two-count charge of extortion and criminal intimidation by anonymous communication.
The prosecutor, Mr. Cliff Osagie, told the Abuja Chief Magistrates’ Court, presided over by Mrs. Oyewunmi Oyebola, that the offences were committed in the FCT and Kaduna between July 1, 2011 and Sept. 10, 2011.
He said that the accused and Abubakar Gunda, now at large, sent threat messages to some individuals, including a Permanent Secretary, S.B. Ozigiz, Sen. Abu Ibrahim, Sen. Bukar Ibrahim and Dr. Bello Kaduna.
Osagie said that the intention of the accused, a resident of 2, Karaye Road, Badarawa, Kaduna, was to intimidate the recipients to part with their money.
The prosecutor said the offence was punishable under sections 398 and 291 of the Penal Code.
The accused pleaded not guilty and the prosecutor asked the court for a date for hearing.
However, Oyebola ordered that a formal written bail application be made, stating clearly why the court should grant the accused bail.
The counsel to the accused, Mr. A.S. Auomai, made an application for the accused to be remanded in prison custody, pending the perfection of the bail.
Oyebola granted the application and adjourned the case to May 2, for hearing.