Three police officers suspected to be members of the Boko Haram sect were on Wednesday arraigned before an Abuja Federal High Court by the Federal Government for masterminding a jailbreak at a police station in Gombe State in 2012.
The policemen – Cpl Jimmy Oba’a, PC Michael Manu and PC Iliya Mark – all of the Nigeria Police Force Bajoga Division, Gombe State, were accused of attacking the Ashaka Police Station in Bajoga Local Government Area of the state, during which they freed all suspects detained at the station.
The alleged Boko Haram members were also accused of killing the Divisional Police Officer, SP Abubakar Sadia, and three other cops during the operation.
They allegedly carried out the attack alongside other members of the terrorist group, including Abeimel Ibrahim, Isah Kano, Yambah Umaru, Danbga Wilfred and Sadeeq Ali Amatiga.
Prosecution counsel, Lawrence Alabi, on behalf of the Federal Government, told the court presided by Justice Ademola Adeniyi that the suspects committed the alleged offence on March 7, 2012 in Ashaka Gombe state.
But the accused pleaded not guilty to the three counts filed against them.
Justice Ademola adjourned the case to May 26 to hear their bail application, and ordered that they should be remanded in prison custody.
Count one of the charge reads, “That you Abeimel Ibrahim (m) of Unguwan Alheri, Ashaka Gombe State, (2) Isah Kano (m) of A14 Workers Village Ashaka Cement Gombe, (3) Yambah Umaru of Ashaka Town Bajoga Gombe, (4) Danbga Wilfred of Ashaka Town Bajoga Gombe, (5) Cpl Jimmy Oba’a of Nigeria Police Force Bajoga Division, Gombe State, (6) PC Michael Manu of Nigeria Police Force Bajoga Division, Gombe state, (7) PC Iliya Mark, Nigeria Police Force Bajoga, Division Gombe, (8) Sadeeq Ali Amatiga (m) of Ashaka Town, Gunakaye LGA Gombe State and others at large on 7/3/2012 at 1900 hrs conspired and agreed among yourselves while armed with different types of ammunitions and dangerous weapons and explosives to kill innocent people and destruction of public properties under the name of Boko Haram in Ashaka in Bajoga LGA of Gombe State, an offence which is punishable under Section 516 of the Criminal Code Act Law of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.”
In count two, the Federal Government said the suspects willfully attacked, shot and killed the DPO of Ashaka Police Station, Sadia, as well as Cpl Imamu Ijinyawa, Cpl Yakubu Azi, Cpl Jdi Harima, in the course of their official duties without any provocation, an offence which is contrary to and punishable under Section 2 (c) (1) of Terrorism Acts, 2011 and punishable under Section 33 (1) (e) of the Terrorism Prevention Acts.
Also, in count three, the court was informed that the suspects attacked and burnt down the Divisional Police Station, stole rifles and other ammunitions, as well as one Jincheng motorcycle and one police beret, released all the suspects who were on detention and also destroyed the FinBank and Zenith Bank buildings in the town, an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 2 (3) (i) of Terrorism Prevention Acts and Section 443 (a) of the Criminal Code Act, Law of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.