The absence of counsel for the Federal Government on Wednesday stalled the commencement of the trial of Tukur 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 matter, which was third on the court list, was fixed for trial before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
When the matter was called, only Mamu’s counsel, Obiabo Francis-Amedo, was in court.
The lawyer told the court that he was notified through a letter from the prosecution that the prosecuting counsel in the matter had gone on training and that they suggested a date before vacation.
Justice Ekwo, who said that the adjournment was at the instance of the prosecution, fixed July 19 for trial.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mamu, a former terrorists’ negotiator, was arraigned on March 21 by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation on 10 counts bordering on terrorism financing, especially in relation to the Abuja-Kaduna train attack.
He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
On April 27, the court declined to grant him bail on grounds of ill health.
The judge, who held that the grounds were not cogent enough to grant bail to the defendant facing terrorism-related charges, also cited Mamu’s failure to debunk the claims contained in the counter-affidavit filed to oppose his bail application by the Department of State Services (DSS), the agency keeping him in custody.
Mamu was arrested on Sept. 6, 2022, on his way to Saudi Arabia for the Lesser Hajj and was detained at Cairo International Airport before being repatriated to Nigeria.
In the charges, the Federal Government accused him of aiding and abetting Boko Haram’s attacks against innocent Nigerians.
He was accused of collecting various sums of money in various currencies on behalf of Boko Haram terrorists from the families of the victims of the train attack.
He was said to have collected $420, 000 from the families of victims of the attack and another N21 million from other families.
He is also accused of concealing the funds in his Kaduna residence in violation of provisions of the Terrorism Prevention and Prohibition Act.
He denied all the charges when they were read to him.