St. Theresa bombing: SSS brings more witnesses against Kabiru Sokoto


kabiru_sokotoThe trial of terrorism suspect, Kabiru Sokoto, continued on Monday before Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja, with more witnesses giving evidence.

The accused, who is originally called Kabiru Umar, is standing trial for his alleged role in the Christmas day bombing of St. Theresa Catholic Church, Madalla, Niger, in 2011.

Giving evidence, a blind-fold police officer, referred to as “ABC’’ for security reason, said the Madalla attack was not a suicide attack but a coordinated attack.

He explained that the accused was privy to the arrangement that led to the bombing of the Church on Christmas day.

“ABC’’ said the accused, with seven other alleged Boko Haram members, took steps at various intervals to plant explosives in the vehicle near the Church.

The prosecution witness further testified that the explosives caused the death of many people and injured many others.

Reacting to questions challenging the authenticity of the accused person’s confessional statement during cross examination, the witness said the accused voluntarily gave his statement.

“ABC’’ said it was not true that the statement was a figment of his imagination.

“My Lord, my evidence before the court is the whole truth and nothing but the truth.’’

In his evidence, another prosecution witness, an operative of the State Security Service (SSS), said he led a team of other SSS operatives to Sabongida in Taraba in an attempt to re-arrest the accused.

He explained that on Feb. 10, 2012 at about 4.30 a.m. the team stormed the residence where the accused took refuge after escaping from police custody.

“We arrested the accused from one of the rooms in the uncompleted building where another suspected Boko Haram Commander, Suleiman Habib, was residing.

“On sighting him from behind, we quickly recognised him as Kabiru Umar, a.k.a Kabiru Sokoto and we immediately arrested him and brought him to Abuja.

“At the point of arrest, he was with a Nokia cell phone with six sim cards of various network providers.’’

According to the witness, the accused told him during preliminary interrogation that the N40 million sent to Boko Haram from a sister organisation in Algeria remotely caused the sect to split.

“My lord, the accused told me at that point that he had N500,000 as his share from the bounty,’’ he added.

However, the accused had on May 11, objected to the document admitted by the court as his confessional statement.

He said neither the police nor the SSS asked him to write any statement.

Meanwhile, Justice Ademola held that the admissibility of the document was based on its relevance to the case.

He, therefore, adjourned the trial to May 16 and May 17, while May 20 was fixed for the accused to open his defence.






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