By Sunday Ejike Benjamin
The Federal Government yesterday approached a Federal High Court in Abuja with an application seeking for secret trial of three men charged with having links with the Boko Haram sect.
The government, in an application filed by the Chief State Counsel in the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mrs N.B Jones Nebo, said this was necessary to protect the identity of its witnesses.
The three accused persons; Nazeef Mohammed Yunus, Musa Umar and Salami Abdullahi, were arraigned on an eight-count charge bordering on terrorism.
They were arrested in October, 2013, for allegedly holding various meetings, planning to carry out insurgency across the country and have been remanded in prison custody.
Nebo also said the prosecution’s motion was brought pursuant to the provisions of Sections 33 and 34 of the Terrorism Prevention Act 2013, as amended, and Section 115 of the Evidence Act.
Mr Hassan Liman (SAN), Mr James Ocholi (SAN), Mr Abdul Mohammed, counsel to the first, second and third accused, opposed the prosecution’s application in separate counter-affidavits.
They also prayed the court to dismiss and discountenance the said application for lacking in merit and being incompetent.
Jutsice Kolawole, after hearing the arguments of all the counsels, adjourned the case to March 18, 2014, for ruling on the prosecution’s application.