Alleged terrorism financing: Court rejects Tukur Mamu’s bail plea 

Tukur Mamu
Tukur Mamu

A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Thursday, rejected Tukur Mamu’s bail application.

Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a ruling, held that he took note of the averments in paragraphs 3 (i), (j), (k), (1), and (m) of the counter-affidavit of the Department of State Services (DSS) which were not controverted by Mamu on the implication of granting bail to him.

“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,” he said.

Ekwo said though Mamu averred that the DSS cannot take care of his health challenge and that he was suffering from Cardiac Decomposition on background, Thyro-cardiac disease, he held that the court would have to weigh some conditions in exercising its discretion.

He said these included the availability of appropriate or adequate or peculiar medical care where the defendant/applicant is in custody.

“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 ground will not be countenanced by the court,” he said.

Besides, he said where the custodian does not have the medical facility to take care of the medical condition of the defendant but is capable of ensuring that the defendant has access to medical facility suitable for his medical condition, the court would not grant the bail.

“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 application for bail.

“A defendant who is in the custody of the state or agency of the state like the complainant/respondent (DSS) must understand that his medical care is at the expense of the state and must be reasonable in his demands,” the judge said.

Justice Ekwo observed that it was averred that it was after Mamu 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 (DSS) and he was diagnosed with (Moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea) and use of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) was recommended among other options at the hospital

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.

He said the agency also undertook to ensure that Mamu had access to his daily medication for the management of his pre-existing health condition as well as ensuring access to adequate tests and treatments when necessary, during the trial.

“With this undertaking, this application for bail on medical grounds does not hold water.

“In such situation where the custodian has demonstrated that it is capable of giving the Defendant in its custody access to appropriate and adequate medical facility, it is for the court to exercise its supervisory power over the medical treatment of the defendant while in custody and in the course of trial,” he said.

The judge held that in exercising his discretion on 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.”

He said upon considering the nature of the offence on the charge sheet before the court and the fact that Mamu did not rebut allegation of breach of terms of bail, he was persuaded by the grounds given by the DSS for the court not to exercise discretion to grant bail as prayed by Mamu.

“This application is consequently refused and Is hereby struck out. This is the order of this court,” Justice Ekwo declared.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the DSS had, on March 21, arraigned Mamu on 10-count bordering on terrorism financing, among others.

Mamu, who pleaded not guilty to the counts, prayed the court for a bail on the grounds of ill-health.

Mamu, through his counsel, Sani Katu, SAN, had told the court that a bail application dated March 8 and supported by 21-paragraph affidavit, an exhibit with a written address had been filed, where issue of bail was captured but counsel to the Federal Government, Aderonke Imana, an Assistant Chief State Counsel, urged the court to dismiss it.

The judge, who adjourned the matter for ruling, ordered Mamu to remain in the DSS custody pending the hearing and determination of the bail application.

Mamu was arrested on Sept. 7, 2022 by Egyptian security officials at the Cairo International Airport, on reasonable suspicion of financing Boko Haram terrorism activities.

 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 personal 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 same to the terrorists.

He was said to be in possession of large sums of unexplained cash and property that he tried to conceal upon arrest by directing his proxies to change their locations.

Though Mamu was said to have denied these allegations, witness and victim statements and the investigation by the security outfit was said to have revealed a prima facie case against him.(NAN)



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