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The Standard Gazette
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Terrorism: Abuja court reserves judgement on Amigo Supermarket co-owner, two other Lebanese

The parties in the suit adopted their written addresses.

The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday, failed to deliver judgment in the suit involving three Lebanese accused of illegal importation of arms into Nigeria, as well as terrorism.

Justice Adeniyi Ademola reserved judgement on the matter after the parties in the suit separately adopted their written addresses.

LebaneseThe Federal Government had dragged the accused, Mustapha Fawaz, Abdallah Thahani and Talal Ahmed Rodo, to court over terrorist activities bordering on illegal importation of firearms.

The Nigerian military had uncovered heavy weaponry in a building in Kano allegedly owned by the Lebanese. Nigerian authorities subsequently sealed off two buildings in Abuja, Amigo Supermarket and Wonderland Amusement Park, also co-owned by Mr. Fawaz.

The Lebanese were also accused of being members of Hezbollah, the Lebanon based group considered a terrorist organisation by the U.S.

At the resumed of hearing on the matter, Simon Egede, who is the prosecution counsel, maintained that the accused persons were guilty of the charges, especially based on the evidence given by the witness.

Mr. Egede said that Hezbollah was a terrorist group and should be treated as such. He explained that any organization that was involved in bombing and destruction was a terrorist organization and therefore prayed the court to convict the accused.

Robert Clarke, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, who is the defence counsel, however, opposed the submission of the prosecution counsel, saying Hezbollah had not been pronounced a terrorist organization by the Nigerian Government.

He said Hezbollah was like any other group and therefore prayed the court to acquit and discharge the accused.

The court also reserved judgement in the suit filed against one Mustapha Umar for allegedly bombing the Kaduna Office of the ThisDay newspapers with 12 camp gas cylinders in April last year.

The offices of Moment and Sun Newspapers were also affected during the attack, which left about 10 persons dead.

At the resumed hearing on Monday, Shuaibu Mogaji, the prosecution counsel, told the court that that considering the evidence before it, it was evident that Mr. Umar was responsible for the attack.

According to Mr. Mogaji, the video clips revealed the accused as the perpetrator of the act.

However, defence counsel, Suleiman Nureni, argued that Mr. Umar was innocent, explaining that he was just passing by on the complex where the newspapers office was located before he was arrested alongside 10 others.

Mr. Nureni said while the others arrested were subsequently released, the accused was charged to court. He, therefore, prayed the court to discharge Mr Umar.

Mr. Mogaji expressed shock at the submission of the defence counsel, insisting that there was huge evidence against the accused and asked the court to disregard his (Nureni) prayer.

Mr. Adeniyi, however, reserved judgement in the matter.

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