Nnamdi Felix / Abuja
The scheduled arraignment of a suspect alleged to have masterminded the bombing of SOJ Plaza in Nigeria’s Kaduna state occupied by ThisDay, The Moment and The Sun newspapers, was stalled on Tuesday as the suspected terrorist told the court that he does not have any lawyer to represent him.
The alleged bomber, Mr. Mustapha Umar, who is charged with one count of terrorist related act told the court that since he was arrested and detained in April, 2012, he has not been allowed any visitor, including family members. He requested from the Federal Government a lawyer for his defence.
He was alleged to have driven a white Honda Academy car with registration number AL 306 MKA with improvised explosive devices into the premises of SOJ plaza and detonated same.
Over ten persons were reportedly killed as a result of the attack.
The trial judge, Justice Adeniyi Ademola adjourned the arraignment to 5 February to enable the suspect engage a lawyer for his defence and expressed doubt over the possibility of the Legal Aids Council coming to the assistance of the suspect as his charge borders on terrorism. He directed the suspect who spoke through an interpreter to secure the services of a lawyer before the next adjourned date as his arraignment will take place on that day whether or not he has legal representation.
The court thereafter remanded the suspected terrorist to Kuje Prison and directed the prosecution team from Nigeria Police Force, led by Mr. Simon Labaran, to allow the suspect access to his family members and lawyers to enable him prepare for his defence.