Nine men and a minor were on Monday docked in High Court in Jos for their involvement in the alleged massacre of 22 commuters.
On Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, 22 travellers were reportedly brutally killed on the Rukaba road in Jos, Plateau.
They pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The commuters were reportedly returning from attending an annual Islamic “dhikr prayer” in Bauchi State to Ikare, Ondo State when they were attacked by unknown persons.
The police charged Mathew Daniel, Jurbe Zamani, Dapar Sunday, Bernard Francis, Daniel Bulus, Yakubu John, Stephen Ishaku, Yohanna Marshal and a minor
The Prosecution Counsel, Muleng Alex, told the presiding Judge, that the defendants were responsible for the death of innocent cummutters on Aug. 14 on the Rukuba Road in Jos.
“My Lord the defendants were arrested by security operatives with dangerous weapons including knives, daggers and swords and so committed an offence contrary to and punishable with death, section 188 and 189 of penal code law of culpable homicide.
“Since they pleaded not guilty to the offence, we hereby seek the leave of the Court for a short date to prove our case against the accused persons, more so that we have served them with our motion.
“Consequently, they should be committed to prison custody as we seek for a new date to come before your lordship for a definite hearing of this case,” Alex pleaded.
But the Defence Counsel, Yakubu Bawa, who is Plateau NBA Chairman, denied the prosecution Counsel’s claim that the motion had been served on all the accused persons.
“My Lord, it is not true that services have been effected on all the accused persons because from our records, it has only been effected on one person instead of all.
“Secondly, we are opposing the application to the commutal of the minor, who is 17 years old, to prison custody as we seek to replace him with any of his guardians in accordance with provisions of the law.
“We are making this passionate appeal to this honourable court on the sixth defendant, a minor in accordance with Section 175 of the criminal Justice law of 2018.”
According to him, by subsection 175 (2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Plateau State 2018, which the application seeks the court to release the minor on “self recognition or to be entered by his parents/guardians through whom he is bound to secure his own release and not to be taken to Correctional Centre.”
Mr Bawa explained that they were opposing Alex’s application because “the minor has filed his defense which is dated Sept 24 and filed on the same date.”
Alex, who is O/C legal of Plateau Police Command, opposed Bawa’s application and described the section quoted as misconceived and misapplied.
She explained, “that section can only be applied at the point of arrest and not when the accused person is being arraigned before a competent court of law for Culpable Homicide.”
“My Lord, Solomon Dung, a minor of 17 years old, can be remanded in children custody instead of the correctional centre and not to release for anyone to take his place,” she argued.
After listening to both sides,
Justice Arum Ashom adjourned the case until Oct. 13 for definite hearing.
Ashom ordered that the remaining eight defendants should be effected with proper service before the next adjourn date.