The Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed a bail application filed by the alleged terrorist negotiator, Tukur Mamu, who was detained and held in custody by the State Security Services.
The court, in a ruling that was delivered by trial Justice Inyang Ekwo, said it was persuaded by a counter-affidavit the Department of State Services filed to oppose Mamu’s request for bail.
Justice Ekwo held, among others, that Mamu’s application was without merit and that the applicant failed to provide sufficient materials to move the court to exercise its discretion in his favour.
He noted that the defendant failed to contradict the Federal Government averments that he posed a flight risk and that there was a likelihood of him committing more offences.
He said, “Generally, the law is that where averments in a counter affidavit are not countered, they are accepted to be true and correct and they require no further elaboration. This is because facts admitted need no further proof.”
The judge held that although the defendant claimed the SSS custody, where he was being kept, could not address his health challenges, the court would have to consider other issues before taking a decision.
“Again, the court will weigh the evidence to see whether the custodians allow the applicant requisite access to medical treatment peculiar to his medical condition.
“The court will also take into account the attitude of the defendant/applicant to the medical facility provided to him by his custodian.
“Where there is a medical facility by the custodian of the defendant which can adequately take care of the medical condition of the defendant, then the application for bail on medical grounds will not be countenanced by the court.
“Now, where the defendant willfully rejects the medical facility given to him by his custodian merely for the fact that such facility is not up to the standard that he expects, then, he has no good medical grounds for bail application.
“A defendant who is in the custody of the state or agency of the state like the complainant/respondent must understand that his medical care is at the expense of the state and must be reasonable in his demands,” he said.
The judge noted that evidence before the court revealed that it was after the defendant declined the DSS medical services that he was taken to Arewa Specialist Hospital and Diagnostic Center, Jabi by the security outfit.
“There adequate tests and treatments were administered at the expense of the complainant/applicant and he was diagnosed with Moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea and the use of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure was recommended, among other options, at the hospital, ” the judge said.
He said the DSS, however, averred that the hospital was sufficiently capable of handling the medical condition of the defendant and that it was able and willing to take responsibility for the treatment of Mamu.
“A defendant who is in the custody of the state or agency of the state like the complainant/respondent must understand that his medical care is at the expense of the state and must be reasonable in his demands,” Justice Ekwo added.
Furthermore, the trial judge held that Mamu did not rebut the allegation that he earlier breached the terms of an administrative bail that was earlier given to him by the DSS.
He said he was persuaded by the grounds given by the DSS for the court not to exercise discretion to grant bail as prayed by Mamu.
The judge held that in exercising his discretion on the application for bail on allegations contained in a charge sheet punishable with imprisonment for a term exceeding three years, “the discretion of the court to grant bail will not be exercised in favour of the defendant where any of the conditions in Section 162 of the ACJA 2015 Is established.”
“With this undertaking, this application for bail on medical grounds does not hold water.
“This application is consequently refused and is hereby struck out. This is the order of this court.”
Mamu was arraigned on March 21 by the Federal Government on a 10-count charge bordering on terrorism financing, aiding terrorist operations in the country among others.
The Kaduna-based Islamic scholar was further accused of collecting various sums of money in different currencies from families of victims of the train attack, on behalf of the Boko Haram terrorists’ sect.
The Federal Government told the court that investigations revealed that the defendant collected an aggregate sum of $420, 000 from the families of the victims, as well as N21 million from another set of families of the train attack.
In the charge that was signed by the Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation, M.B. Abubakar, the Federal Government said the defendant exchanged voice note communications with one Baba Adamu, identified as spokesperson of Boko Haram.
On September 6, 2022, Mamu was arrested in Cairo, Egypt, while he was on his way to Saudi Arabia for a lesser Hajj with his family members.
He was subsequently brought back to the country and immediately taken into custody by the DSS which subsequently obtained a detention order against him.
He was alleged to have convinced the terrorists to discuss ransom payments with individual families of the hostages of the train attack instead of the Chief of Defense Staff Committee set up by the Federal Government for his financial gain.
He was said to have been nominated by the terrorists that attacked the Abuja-Kaduna bound train sometime in March 2022 which took scores of persons hostage.
Mamu was alleged to have collected ransoms on behalf of the Boko Haram terrorists from families of hostages, confirmed the amount and facilitated the delivery of the same to the terrorists.