An Army Officer told the Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday that the bomb components seized from four suspects of the Suleja bombing could produce 200 explosives.
The officer,a prosecution witness, whose name was not given for security reasons, revealed this when crossed examined in the case filed by the State Security Service against the six accused Suleja/Madalla bomb attack.
He had on Dec. 5 in his evidence-in-chief testified that Salisu Ahmed, Umar Babagana-Umar, Mohammed Ali and Musa Adam were arrested on July 28, 2011 at Gumel Junction, Kachia in Kaduna with the items. Umar Ibrahim and Shuaibu Abubakar, were also standing trial for alleged multiple bombings and killings in Suleja and Madalla both in Niger.
When asked how he concluded that the items were components for making explosives, the officer explained that the materials were subjected to expert scrutiny. He further said that “as an army officer exposed to proper training I could tell from my experience and exposure on warfare that the items are for IED’’.
Countering, Mr Emeka Okoro, Counsel to the accused persons’ claimed that the items were not complete explosives at the point of his clients’ arrest, the witness said “I guess it was deliberate to transport them like that in order to beat security and to guide against untimely explosion before reaching targets’’.
The officer further countered Okoro’s submission that the suspects were quarry workers who used similar explosives to blast rocks, as according to him, “the mission of the suspects was to cause mayhem’’.
He said that the other items seized from the suspects were indicative of the fact that they were out to cause destruction of human lives, adding that “they had departed from Madalla and Suleja and taken delivery of the consignment in Azara in Nasarawa State’’.
The witness had during his evidence in chief, read two messages from the phones confiscated from the suspects containing secret code to arrange and detonate explosives.
The other message was a promise of 72 virgins to each of the suspects as incentives for carrying out the “deed’’. Justice Bilkisu Aliyu adjourned the trial to Dec. 20 for continuation.