Two Nigerians, Abdullahi Mustapha Berende and Saheed Adewumi, believed to be members of an Iranian terrorist organization, were yesterday, January 24th, sentenced to five years imrpisonment each by the Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed of the Federal High Court Abuja.
Justice Mohammed said the Prosecution Counsel, Chioma Onuegbu, was able to prove beyond reasonable doubt the Federal Government’s allegations against the suspects. Delivering judgement late evening on Wednesday, the Court found the first defendant guilty of all the six-count charge. The second defendant was convicted on counts five and six of the charge. The independent reports that the court sentenced the First and Second defendants to 5 years’ imprisonment on each count of the charge they were found guilty.
The terror suspects stood trial on a 6-count charge for their alleged involvement in terrorism offences between 2011 and 2012 in the Middle East and Lagos. The Federal Government had claimed that Abdullahi Mustapha Berende, between September 2011 and December 2012, in Tehran, Iran had supported terrorism acts, involved in training on use of dangerous weapons and firearms with the intent of perpetrating terrorism crimes in Nigeria. The offence it was learnt ran contrary to Section 5 (1) (a) of Terrorism Prevention Act 2011 and punishable under Section 5(1) same Act.
They were both arrested 2012 and have been in detention.
In count two of the charges, the Federal Government alleged that Abdullahi, while in Iran, had information to commit terrorism acts but concealed such information from security operatives, and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 8(1) of the Terrorism Prevention Act 2011 as amended.
Count three stated that Abdullahi at Tehran and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) collected foreign currencies in US Dollars, Euros etc denominations to aid and abate the commission of terrorism acts, contrary to Section 13(1) (a) of the Terrorism Prevention Act 2011 and punishable under the same Act.
Abdullahi was equally accused in count four of recruiting persons for an Iranian terrorist organization an offence the Federal Government said it violated Section 10 of the Terrorism Prevention Act.
In count five and six, Abdullahi and Adewumi were accused of conspiring to commit terrorism Act in Lagos in September 2011, an offence contrary to Section 17 of the TPA, 2011; just as technological devices including cameras were found on them contrary to Section 12 of the TPA, 2011.
Both suspects had pleaded “not guilty” to the charge, and therefore applied for bail.