Friday, 15 November 2013

Thisday Newspaper bomber Jailed for Life

Mustapha Umar, a self confessed
Boko Haram member arrested
and tried before a Federal High
Court siting in Abuja in connection
with the 26th April, 2012 bombing
of SOJ Plaza in Kaduna state
occupied by ThisDay, The Moment
and The Sun Newspapers, was on
Friday found guilty of the one
count charge of terrorism and
sentenced for life.
The convicted terrorist was alleged
to have driven a white Honda
Academy car with registration
number AL 306 MKA with
improvised explosives devices into
the premises of SOJ plaza with the
intention to detonate improvised
explosive devices within the
The incident claimed the lives of
three persons and caused several
degrees of injuries on others.
The convict had pleaded not guilty
during his trial but the court
placed heavy reliance on his
recorded interview which he
granted to investigators during
interrogations where he claimed
to be a member of the deadly
Islamic fundamentalist group,
Boko Haram, as well as the
testimonies of ten witnesses
comprising of police officers who
participated in the investigation
and were led in evidence during
the trial.
The prosecution drew the court’s
attention to section 4 (2) of the
Terrorism Act and asked the court
to consider the deaths recorded at
the incident and to pronounce a
death sentence on the accused
but the court declined that
invitation and pointed out that the
convict was charged against
section One of the Terrorism
Prevention Act which provides for
a life sentence upon conviction.
The court also found that the
convict demonstrated no remorse
for his actions throughout the trial
and observed that the souls of
those whose deaths were caused
by his actions are crying out for
substantial justice noting that no
one’s life is more important than
that of others.
Furthermore, the court held that
the convict’s reason for attacking
ThisDay newspapers which he said
was because the newspaper was
denigrating Prophet Mohammed
was unattainable and noted that
as members of the fourth realm,
nobody should be allowed to
muzzle the press, an objective
which the terrorist act was
calculated to achieve .
Pleadings by the defence lawyer
for the court to temper justice
with mercy as the convict is a
youth whose family and aged
parents depend on for their
livelihood fell on deaf ears as the
court slammed a life sentence on
the convict with a fine of One
Hundred and Fifty Million Naira.
His sentence is to be served with
hard labour.
The court further noted that the
state of mind of the convict with
which the terrorism attack was
planned, coordinated and
orchestrated reinforced its
determination to remove him
from the public for life.
To the families of the victims of
the terror act, the court awarded
the sum of One Hundred and Fifty
Million Naira, noting that their
deaths should not just go like that.
This will be forwarded to the
Committee set up by the President
on the resolution of the Boko
Haram insurgents actions for

The court presided by Justice
Ademola Adeniyi also praised the
Nigeria Police Force for the
expertise and professionalism
demonstrated in the trial which
led to the quality prosecution of
the matter by the team of lawyers
led by Mr. Shuaibu Labaran, a
senior state counsel from Nigeria’s
Ministry of Justice.

The case is the first conviction
recorded under the amended
Terrorism Prevention Act of 2011.

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