Court bars lawyers, journalists, others from trial of terrorist negotiator, Tukur Mamu

Court bars lawyers, journalists, others from trial of terrorist negotiator, Tukur Mamu
Tukur Mamu

Lawyers, litigants and journalists, were, on Friday, ordered to vacate Courtroom 7 of the Federal High Court in Abuja where Tukur Mamu was being tried.

When the matter was called, E.A. Kaswe, counsel from the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), who is prosecuting the case on behalf of the Nigerian Government, told the court that their witnesses were in court for the trial.

Kaswe then urged Justice Inyang Ekwo to enforce the order granted to the prosecution on Wednesday when the matter came up.

“May I humbly ask the court to enforce the order granted for all parties not party to the suit to vacate the court,” he prayed.

Justice Inyang Ekwo subsequently ordered everyone to vacate the court, except parties in the suit.

On Wednesday, the court granted an application by the government to protect witnesses lined up in the prosecution of Tukur Mamu.

A member of the Presidential Committee Dr AbdulMalik Atta, narrated that Tukur Mamu thwarted the efforts of the government in rescuing the abducted victims of the March 28, 2022 Abuja-Kaduna train attack.

Mamu was arrested at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport after he was repatriated from Egypt where he had been detained while on his way to Saudi Arabia.

He was allegedly going to Saudi Arabia for a meeting with people linked with terrorism.

Mamu, an aide to Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, a popular Islamic cleric, was involved in negotiations for the release of persons abducted during an attack on a Kaduna-bound train.

According to the Department of State Services (DSS), Mamu who had negotiated the release of some victims kidnapped by terrorists during the Abuja -Kaduna train attack, was arrested on his way to meet some top international terrorists at a forum in Saudi Arabia.

Atta, whose father was one of the victims, during an interview on the Channel’s Television, said the bandits never demanded ransom but Tukur included money to derail the process and delay the release of the victims.

He was accused of collecting various sums of money in various currencies on behalf of Boko Haram terrorists from the families of the train attack.

He reportedly collected $420, 000 from families of the attack, and another N21 million from another set of families of the victims of the train attack.

He also reportedly concealed the terrorism funds in his Kaduna residence in violation of provisions of the Terrorism Prevention, Prohibition Act.

He denied all the charges when it was read to him.

However, regarding the court’s decision on whether journalists and others should witness the trial, the position of the prosecution was that accredited journalists should be allowed to observe proceedings in the trial.

Justice Ekwo, on Wednesday, granted an application by the Nigerian Government to protect witnesses lined up in the prosecution of Mamu, who is being tried over his alleged relationship with terrorists that were involved in last year’s attack on a Kaduna-bound train.

The judge granted the application following an ex-parte motion moved by Kaswe to the effect.

Moving the ex-parte motion marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/96/2023, Kaswe said the application dated May 11, was filed on June 15.

He said the motion was brought pursuant to Section 36(4), (A), (B) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and Section 232 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015, including Section 73 (1), (2) (C) and (4) of the Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022.

In the motion, the FG prayed for four orders.

These include: “An order of this Honourable Court excluding persons other than parties and their legal representatives at the hearing of the above-named charge except members of the accredited press.

“An order of this Honourable Court vacating the court room whenever the prosecution witnesses are coming to testify.

“An order of this Honourable Court shielding the physical identity of the prosecution witnesses by wearing facial masks and or the use of screen whenever prosecution witnesses are testifying.

“An order of this Honourable Court directing the use of pseudo names by prosecution witnesses and deleting the real names and addresses of prosecution witnesses throughout the proceedings of this case.”


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