Justice Adeniyi Ademola of an Abuja Federal High Court has found Boko Haram Kingpin, Kabiru Sokoto guilty of facilitating terrorist activities in Sokoto State, and having prior knowledge of the bomb attack at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church.
For his crimes, the Boko Haram leader, Kabiru Umar, alias Kabiru Sokoto, was today sentenced to life imprisonment by an Abuja Federal High Court for his role in terrorist activities, including the December 25, 2011 bombing of St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Madalla, Niger State. He was a key leader of the in Sokoto State hierarchy of the Boko Haram group, according to evidence presented in the course of his trial, which spanned six months.
Sokoto was found guilty of facilitating terrorist activities in Sokoto State, and having prior knowledge of the bomb attack at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church.
Kabiru Sokoto, who was rearrested by operatives of the State Security Service in the Borno State Governor’s Lodge in Abuja after escaping from the custody of police officers who initially arrested him, was arraigned by the Federal Government on April 19, 2013 on a two count charge of terrorism.
According to the judge, “The prosecution has proved it case and this court finds him guilty beyond reasonable doubt. Accordingly the accused person is as guilty as charged.”
Responding to pleas for leniency by Sokoto’s lawyers, Justice Ademola stressed that Kabiru Sokoto does not deserve mercy, having failed to show any form of remorse throughout the trial.
The judge also condemned Kabiru Sokoto’s claim that he does not understand English, a development which made the trial very cumbersome as an interpreter had to translate every statement made in the course of the proceedings.
“If he can take us for six months translating when he actually understands, then you will understand what I am talking about,” the judge said, adding that the crime was even more condemnable because it occurred on a Christmas Day.
He therefore sentenced Kabiru Sokoto to life imprisonment on count one of the charge, in line with the provisions of section 15(2) of EFCC (Establishment) Act 2004, and 10 years imprisonment on count two, as stipulated by section 7(1) of Terrorism and Prevention Act, 2011.
Justice Ademola ordered that the two sentences will run consecutively, which means that Kabiru Sokoto will serve the life sentence first, before serving the 10 years prison term.
The judge in the same vein urged the security agencies to investigate the circumstances surrounding Kabiru Sokoto’s arrest in the Borno State Governor’s Lodge in Asokoro, Abuja.