However, journalists were not allowed to cover the judgment. Only lawyers in the prosecution and defence teams were allowed in court.
A source, who witnessed the verdict, but craved anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the matter, told reporters that the fourth defendant was acquitted.The court, on December 3 last year, barred journalists from covering the trial of 17 suspected members of the sect.
Justice Ibrahim Buba made the order following an application by the Lagos State Attorney-General and prosecuting counsel, Mr. Ade Ipaye.
Men of the Department of Security Services (DSS) had prevented journalists from covering the suspects’ arraignment last November 27.
The accused are – Ali Mohammed, Adamu Karumi, Ibrahim Usman, Bala Haruna, Idris Ali, Mohammed Murtala, Kadiri Mohammed, Mustapha Daura, Abba Duguri, Sanni Adamu, Danjuma Yahaya, Musa Audu, Mati Daura, Farouk Haruna, Abdullahi Azeez, Ibrahim Bukar and Zula Diani.
The Attorney-General, it was learnt, had entered a nolle prosequi (Latin for “do not prosecute”) in respect of two of the defendants, who were subsequently discharged.
Later, another 11 were also discharged in the course of the trial following another nolle prosequi by the prosecution.
Only four – the first to fourth defendants – went through a full trial.
The suspects were first charged with conspiracy to commit terrorism, illegal possession of firearms, and being members of a proscribed organisation.
They allegedly committed the offences on March 21 last year, at Plot 5, Road 69, Lekki Phase I Housing Estate, and at No. 24, Oyegbeni St., Ijora-Oloye, Apapa-Iganmu, Lagos.
They were alleged to have in their possession three packets of explosive construction pipes, 15 detonators, and 11 AK47 rifles with 30 rounds of live ammunitions.
Source: The Nation