Court Sets Miyetti Allah Leader’s Trial for May 29

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Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja has scheduled the trial of Bello Bodejo, the detained leader of the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, for May 29, 2024. This date was set following the dismissal of Bodejo’s bail application.

Previously, the case was postponed for ruling and the commencement of Bodejo’s trial, but his absence in court delayed proceedings. Following the new trial date announcement, Bodejo’s counsel, Dr. Ahmed Raji (SAN), confirmed that his client is prepared for trial and will not appeal the bail ruling at this time due to the court’s order for an expedited hearing.

Bodejo was arrested by the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) for allegedly establishing an ethnic militia group, Kungiya Zaman Lafiya, to promote terrorism. He has since been held in DIA custody in Abuja.

In March, Bodejo was arraigned on a three-count charge by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (OAGF) under the Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022. He has denied all charges.

Before the court’s decision on his bail application, Raji had urged Justice Ekwo to grant Bodejo bail on grounds of ill health and fundamental rights. Raji requested that the court admit his client to bail on liberal terms pending the trial’s outcome, arguing that Bodejo suffers from serious health issues and the charges against him are bailable.

Citing Section 36 of the Nigerian Constitution, Raji asserted that Bodejo is presumed innocent until proven guilty and argued that the charges do not substantiate any criminal offense. He also noted that the group’s launch event, led by Bodejo, was held publicly with the presence of the Police Commissioner, security personnel, and Nasarawa State government officials.

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