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25 Oct 2013

Journalists Barred From Covering Alleged Boko-haram Members’ Trial

The journalists, who were at the Lagos Federal High Court, yesterday, to cover the arraignment of the alleged 17 members of Boko Haram were greeted with humiliation and threat from men of the Department of State Services, DSS, that escorted the accused persons. The journalists were sent out of the courtroom by the armed security operatives and one of them threatened to arrest the journalists if they resist. A senior DSS officer told newsmen that the directive to keep them away from the arraignment of the suspected Boko Haram members was from the Presidency. Other litigants were equally barred from the courtroom. When the Boko Haram case was called, some lawyers were implored to leave the court, this, it was gathered, was due to the small size of the courtroom. However, the arraignment of the suspected Boko Haram members, which had suffered two adjournments on October 2 and 9, due to lack of interpreter and the absence of the trial judge, respectively, could not go on yesterday. This was beacause the first to fifth accused persons namely (Ali Mohammed, Adamu Karumi, Ibrahim Usman, Bala Haruna, Idris Ali) did not have legal representation. Presiding judge, Musa Kurya, adjourned the matter till November 27, for the arraignment of the accused persons.

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