‘Terrorism financing’: Court chides FG for lack of diligent prosecution in Tukur Mamu’s case

Adebari Oguntoye
Adebari Oguntoye
Tukur Mamu

A federal high court in Abuja has reprimanded the federal government for lack of diligent prosecution in the charge filed against Tukur Mamu, publisher of Desert Herald newspaper.

At the court session on Monday, David Kaswe, prosecution counsel, was unavailable despite having entered his name on the cause list, indicating his presence.

Abdul Mohammed, Mamu’s counsel, urged the court to stand down the matter to await Kaswe’s return.

However, the prosecution lawyer was still not in court when the case was called again after the judge had delivered a judgment.

Inyang Ekwo, the presiding judge, expressed surprise over “the miraculous disappearance” of the federal government’s lawyer in court.

“I am also aware that the prosecution was in court this morning, but as to the miracle of the disappearance of the prosecution as at the time this matter comes up for hearing, it is beyond my understanding,” Ekwo said.

“This antic of the prosecution is only being tolerated in today’s proceeding. If the prosecution demonstrates that they are not ready to prosecute this matter either diligently or expeditiously, the court will make the right decision at that point.”


Mamu’s lawyer moved an application to transfer his client to the Kuje correctional facility.

He said the prosecution had already responded to the motion.

In the application, the defence counsel said the Department of State Services (DSS) has refused to obey a previous court order which directed that Mamu should be allowed access to his doctors.

He said Mamu would get proper medical attention in Kuje prison.

“This application is brought so that we will take the defendant to the prisons because they always obey court orders there, so if we go there, he will have access to his medical officer,” he said.

“It is completely within the discretion of the court, and we do not want to bring an application for contempt as that will take time.

“Therefore, we want the court to vary the order, and the defendant will stay in the Kuja correctional facility. That is what we are asking for.”

The judge adjourned the matter until May 20 for a ruling on Mamu’s application.


Mamu is standing trial for allegedly aiding the terrorists who attacked the Abuja-Kaduna train in March 2022.After his arrest in 2022, the federal government said $300,000 was found in his possession.

He was arraigned in March 2023 by the office of the attorney-general of the federation (AGF) on a 10-count charge bordering on terrorism.

However, in March, he pleaded not guilty to all the counts and denied having allegiance to the terrorists.

Mamu is alleged to have received $120,000 in ransom payments on behalf of the Boko Haram terrorist group.

The monies was said to have been received from the families of hostages kidnapped during the train attack.

He was also accused of exchanging voice note communications relating to the hostages with one Baba Adamu, a Boko Haram spokesperson.

The federal government also tagged the $300,000 found in Mamu’s possession after his arrest as terrorist funds.

Mamu, an aide to Ahmad Gumi, a popular Islamic cleric, was involved in negotiations for the release of the passengers abducted during the attack on a Kaduna-bound train.

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