Three Lebanese suspects, Mustapha Fawaz, Abdullahi Thahini and Tahal Roda, accused of complicity in the illegal importation of arms into Nigeria, yesterday, persuaded the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court to transfer them from the custody of the Department of State Services, DSS, to Kuje Prison.
The accused persons, who made the application on a day one of them mounted the witness box and narrated before the court how he got involved with the operations of the alleged Lebanon based terrorist organization, Hezbollah, said they no longer feel comfortable being left in the custody of the DSS, alleging interference from foreign agents.
Begging the court through their lawyer Chief Raji Ahmed, SAN, the co-owner of Amigo Supermarket Limited and Wonderland Amusement Park Resort, Mr. Mustapha Fawaz, who is the 1st accused and the 2nd accused, Mr Abdullahi Thahini, told the court that the DSS earlier left them at the mercy of foreign mercenaries who they said interrogated them for 14 days.
They argued that considering their resolve to testify before the court pertaining to their involvement in the activities of Hezbollah vis-à-vis the 16-count terrorism charge preferred against them by the federal government, “we apply to be transferred to a neutral place, possibly the police headquarters or Kuje prison,” they pleaded.
Sequel to a no-objection stance by the defence counsel, Mr. Simon Egede, Justice Ademola Adeniyi, ordered that they should be transferred from custody of the DSS to the prison forthwith, even as he adjourned the case till Monday for the two accused persons to give their own testimony.
Besides, the accused persons, yesterday, told the court that they intend to call a top member of Hezbollah to appear and testify about the organization, its operations in Nigeria and their involvement in it.
Meantime, the 3rd accused, Roda, who was arrested inside the house where a large cache of arms and ammunition were discovered by the Joint Military Task Force, JTF, in an underground bunker at No 3 Gaya Road, off Bompai Road in Kano, in his testimony yesterday, narrated in the open court, how another Lebanese, Abdul Hassan Tahir who is currently at large, told him about a plot to assassinate Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Nigeria.
Roda, told the court though he didn’t believe the plot, he said Tahir, insisted that Hezbollah had already mounted surveillance at the Saudi-Arabia Embassy in Lagos with a view to monitoring the movements of the Ambassador.