Friday, November 29, 2013

Abuja court sentences Lebanese to life imprisonment for terrorism, frees Amigo Supermarket owner

A Federal High Court in Abuja has sentenced a Lebanese, Tahal Roda, to
life imprisonment on terrorism charges. Mr. Roda was charged to court
by the Department of State Security Services, SSS.
The court,
however, freed two other Lebanese, Mustapha Fawaz and Abdullah Thani,
of the charges.
Mr. Fawaz is a co-owner of one of Abuja's largest supermarkets, Amigo
Supermarket, and Wonderland Amusement Park, also in Abuja
Both buildings have been sealed since the suspects were arrested by
the military and the SSS.
The Court had on October 21 failed to deliver judgment in the suit,
with Justice Adeniyi Ademola reserving judgement on the matter after
the parties in the case separately adopted their written addresses.
The 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.
The Lebanese were also accused of being members of Hezbollah, the
Lebanon based group considered a terrorist organisation by the U.S.
During the trial, 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.

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