Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Thisday office was bombed to appease Allah, witness tells court

The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, yesterday, heard how alleged kingpin of the Boko Haram sect, Mustapher Umar, bombed office of Thisday Newspaper in Kaduna State with 12 camp gas cylinders in a bid to appease Allah. Justice Ademola Adeniyi, who admitted a burnt Honda Car, with number-plate AL-306-MKA, allegedly used to perpetrate the terrorist act on April 26, 2012, further heard how the accused person cried bitterly when he was rescued from the burning car, saying they denied him the opportunity of inheriting 72 virgins in heaven.

In a bid to prove the complicity of the accused person, the Federal Government brought a senior police officer that is charged with the responsibility of keeping exhibits recovered from terror suspects to testify before the high court. The masked witness, PW-8, who told the court that the accused person had intended to carry out a suicide attack, produced the burnt Honda car, the discharged cylinders, half-charred 25 litter jerry-can that allegedly contained fuel, and persuaded Justice Adeniyi to move the court outside to inspect the terror items.

Besides, he showed the trial judges who was accompanied on the inspection tour by lawyers and journalists, the foot wear the accused person discarded in his attempt to escape after he was caught by angry mob within the premises of SOJ Plaza in Kaduna State where the attack occurred. Aside Thisday, two other media houses affected by the explosion which reportedly led to the death of about 10 persons, were the Moment and Sun Newspapers, which offices were equally situated at the said SOJ plaza. Convinced that the items brought to court were worth taking into cognisance in determining the culpability of the accused to the one-count terrorism charge preferred against him by the government, Justice Ademola admitted them into evidence.

While he entered the cylinders as exhibits MU 7-18, Justice Adeniyi marked the charred can as exhibit MU-19; the burnt Honda car was admitted as exhibit MU-20. Besides, the federal government, through the police, persuaded the court to watch a video clip where the accused person confessed that he was sent to bomb Thisday Newspaper, owing to a report he said did not only put Islam in false light, but greatly insulted Prophet Mohammed.

The accused person in the video, said his action was to avenge the insult meted out on “Allah” by the media outlet which he said did not deserve to exist. The accused, who spoke in Hausa language, said he knew those that also bombed the Abuja office of Thisday Newspaper, saying the attack was equally as a result of the “sins” the media house committed against Islam.

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