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  Two suspects arrested over the invasion of the home of Mary Odili, retired supreme court justice, have been declared missing from the Kuje...

 


Two suspects arrested over the invasion of the home of Mary Odili, retired supreme court justice, have been declared missing from the Kuje correctional centre in Abuja.

 

Matthew Omosun, the prosecution lawyer, announced the development on Wednesday during the proceedings at the federal high court in Abuja

 

BACKGROUND

 

In October 2021, security operatives invaded Odili’s residence in Abuja to enforce a search warrant issued by a magistrate court over the allegation of illegal activities at the house.

Documents, however, revealed that the warrant presented by the security operatives bore a wrong address.

 

In November 2021, the police paraded suspects arrested in connection with the invasion.

 

On December 15, 2021, the federal government arraigned the suspects on an 18-count charge bordering on conspiracy to commit felony and forgery of court documents.

 

On the day of arraignment, the court granted bail to 12 out the 15 suspects.

 

The three others were later granted bail, but the court ordered that they remain in custody at the Kuje correctional centre until they perfected their bail terms.

 

Those arraigned included Adjodo F. Lawrence, Michael Diete-Spiff, Alex Onyekuru, Bayero Lawal, Igwe Ernest, Aliyu Umar Ibrahim, Maimuna Maishanu, Ayodele Akindipe and Yusuf Adaiu.

 

Others are Bashir Musa, Stanley Nkwazema, Shehu Jibo, Abdulahi Adamu, Mohammed Yahaya, and Abdulahi Usman.

 

On July 5, 2022, gunmen attacked the Kuje correctional centre and freed over 500 inmates, including suspected members of Boko Haram.

 

At resumption of trial on July 19, Usman Jibrin, counsel to three of the defendants, told Nkeonye Maha, the trial judge, that his clients — Aliyu Umar Ibrahim, Shehu Jibo, and Abdulahi Adamu — are victims of the Kuje attack.

 

The trial judge then directed the prosecution team to investigate the matter and report back on November 16.

 

‘COURT ORDERS PRISON AUTHORITIES TO PRODUCE SUSPECT’

 

According to NAN, during Wednesday’s proceedings, Omosun, the prosecution lawyer, told the court that his office wrote to the prison authorities concerning the three aforementioned defendants.

 

While reading the response of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) in court, Omosun said the authorities disclosed that Jibo and Adamu are at large.

 

Jibrin, lawyer to the defendants, however, expressed concern that one of his clients — Aliyu Umar Ibrahim, who is the sixth defendant — was not in court despite the position of the NCoS that he was not at large.

 

He asked the court to order the prison authorities to produce Ibrahim on the next adjourned date.

 

Omosun, however, said the three defendants can be tried in absentia based on the provisions of section 421 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.

 

The judge adjourned the matter until February 16, 2023, for continuation of trial, and ordered the NCoS to produce Ibrahim in court on the next adjourned date.

 

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