The Kaduna State High Court has ordered the Department of State Services (DSS) to “immediately” charge Tukur Mamu to court, if the service has evidence of his alleged involvement in ransom negotiation on behalf of terrorists who kidnapped the Abuja-Kaduna train passengers on March 28, 2022.
Mamu, the Publisher of Desert Herald and media consultant to popular Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, Shiehk Ahmed Gumi, was arrested in Cairo, the capital of Egypt, on September 6, 2022, en route Saudi Arabia with his family members.
Mamu, who was at the forefront of negotiations for the release of the abducted Abuja-Kaduna train passengers, was detained at the Cairo Airport and later moved to Nigeria before he was picked up by the DSS. He has remained in custody since then.
But in a Motion of Notice, dated November 22, 2022 through his lawyers Mohammed Sani Katu (SAN), Solomon Utuagha, Auwal Muktar Sirajo, and Aisha Musa, the detainee is seeking an order enforcing his fundamental human rights “as guaranteed, enshrined and protected by sections 34, 35, 36 and 41 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic 1999, Order 2 of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules, 2009, and Articles 3, 5 and 6 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights for same being breached or likely to be breached by the respondents, their agents, privies or assigns”.
Mamu is also seeking “an order of this honourable court directing the respondents to immediately arraign and charge the applicants before a court of competent jurisdiction for any offence(s), as disclosed from their investigation (if any),” among others.
At the hearing yesterday, Justice Edward Andow granted one of the prayers that the applicant be charged to court, if found to have committed an offence, after DSS investigations.
Also, addressing reporters on the outcome of the court session, Mamu’s lead counsel Muhammad Sani Katu (SAN) said he was satisfied with the court order, and expressed the belief that the DSS would obey the order.
“The matter came up today (Monday). We served the DSS and the Attorney General. We started the processes. And the judge gave the order, directing them to charge him to court immediately for any offence, if any, they may have discovered. That is our target. The word used by the judge is immediately; immediately differs from soon.
“Don’t be surprised if by tomorrow or next or within the week he is being charged to court, if there is any offence. But let me come in here by telling you that one must commend the DSS for the manner they have been handling this matter.
“We have gone to see our client severally. He has some health challenges. But they have been taking care of that. They have taken him to a hospital. They made so much payment towards his health. But our position is not about his health, not just about holding him there,” he said.
“The law is very clear: the essence of his arrest is the belief that he had committed an offence. But how do you know that he had committed an offence? It is to commence an investigation.
“And once you finished the investigation and you did not find him wanting, you release him. And if you find him wanting, the law says don’t keep him in detention; charge him to court. That is just the fundamentals…”