ABUJAâ€”THE Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, yesterday, refused to okay secret trial of Dr. Mohammed Nazeef Yunus, a lecturer at the Kogi State University accused of being the spiritual leader of a Boko Haram cell situated at Igala land in Kogi State.
In a ruling yesterday, trial Justice Gabriel Kolawole, said it would not be in the interest of justice to bar members of the public from witnessing the trial of the accused person, though he gave FG the nod to mask its witnesses with a view to protecting their identity.
Meanwhile, the court yesterday fixed accelerated hearing on the charge against the accused lecturer to May 6 and 7.
Yunus is facing trial alongside two other alleged members of the Boko Haram sect, Alhaji Salami Abdullahi and Umar Musa.
The accused persons who were formally in the custody of the Directorate of State Service, DSS, since October 30, 2013, were on February 3, transferred to Kuje Prison, Abuja, on the order of the trial high court.
Government had alleged in an eight court charge before the court that the trio, within the months of May and October, 2013, at Ayangba in Kogi state, engaged in an act in furtherance of acts of terrorism by not only acquiring weapons, but also recruiting new members for the Boko Haram Islamic sect.
According to the charge, some of the weapons recovered from the accused persons included 2 AK-47 Rifles, 2 Magazines and 60 rounds of live ammunition.
By belonging and supporting the illegal activities of a proscribed organization, the government, said the action of the accused persons ran contrary to sections 4, 10, 12, 16(1) (4), 17 and 18 of the Terrorism Prevention Act, 2013, as amended.
The accused persons had since pleaded not guilty to the charge.