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Arraigned Shi’ites’ lawyer says one died in custody, many with gunshot wounds




As thirty-nine Shiites members were arraigned before a Kaduna High Court yesterday under heavy security, their lead counsel, Mr. Festus Okoye, told the court that one of the Shiite members died in prison custody while others are still carrying gunshot wounds.

The claim by the accused lawyer, Okoye was on the heels of an argument between the prosecuting lawyer, Mr. Dari Bayero and counter claims by Okoye that one Alhaji Musa Usman secured a bond bail on 38 women and minors (girls).

This came into the open during the continuation of case involving members of the IMN before Justice David Wyoms of the Kaduna High Court yesterday.

About 80 Shiite members were charged with, “criminal conspiracy, culpable homicide involving the death of a soldier, unlawful assembly, disturbance of public peace and wrongful restrain.”

When the case came for hearing, Bayero told the judge that the accused were charge under Sections 97, 221, 102,106 and 256 of the Penal Code Law of Kaduna State.

Bayero said, “Before we start, I apply that the name of Abbas Isiyaku be struck off the list. He is deceased.”

“I have no objection to this. The man died in prison custody in December,” Okoye replied.

Continuing, Bayero also informed the court that the accused persons numbers 42-80 were women and were released on bail to one Musa Usman, who was also in court.

According to him, earlier, before the Justice Hannatu Balogun in Court 8, in a sister case, Usman undertook to produce those he took on bail and he asked for time in which the judge obliged him.

However, Okoye expressed a different opinion, saying, “The accused 42-80 are women, children and minors, all girls. Alhaji Musa Usman did not take them on bail. The police released them to him on grounds that the state does not prosecute women, children and minors. Alhaji Musa is here and it is only fair to allow him tell the court what transpired between him and the police.”

Alhaji Musa Usman, in his testimony before the court, explained, “On Friday December 18 2015, around 11a.m one Sayyed Babangida called me and said that the Commissioner of Police wants to see us. We met with him and he said that he has been given directives to release women and children.”

“That he wants us to help him get buses to convey the women and children to their various destinations. I made calls and got the buses and he said that we must conclude their evacuation within 10 minutes.

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