The alleged kingpin of the Boko Haram sect, Mustapher Umar, who allegedly bombed office of the Thisday Newspaper in Kaduna State with 12 camp gas cylinders, has been sentenced to life imprisonment by a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.
Trial Justice Ademola Adeniyi in his judgment, said he was convinced that the accused person deserved to be “removed from the public so that he will not kill more innocent persons.”
Consequently, the court, aside asking the convict to pay the sum of N150 million to the families of the three persons that died as a result of his terrorist act, equally ordered that he should be subjected to hard labour while in prison.
Other media outlets affected by that attack on the premises of SOJ Plaza in Kaduna State on April 26, 2012, included the Moment and the Sun Newspapers.
The High Court had heard how the accused person wept bitterly when he was rescued from a badly burnt Honda car that was allegedly used for the operation, saying he had been denied the opportunity of inheriting 72 virgins in heaven.
Meanwhile, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, has described the life jail term sentence passed on Mustapha Umar as a remarkable victory against terrorism in Nigeria.
In a statement issued by CSP Frank Mba, the Force Public Relations Officer, Abubakar said that the judgment stood out as a major conviction ever secured under the present Anti-Terrorism Laws 2011 as amended.
He commended Justice Ademola for setting an uncommon precedence and for being dispassionate and commendably courageous in delivering the judgment which he said would serve as a “strong deterrent to such condemnable crime’’.
Abubakar also commended police personnel who investigated the case for their high level of diligence, commitment, uncompromising professionalism and sacrifice which led to the successful conclusion of the case.
He thanked the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation for the effective handling of the prosecution and the tremendous support and partnership with the police.
The I-G noted that the conviction of Umar “eloquently testifies to his administration’s commitment to the fight against terrorism.’’
He added that the feat would further embolden the police to redouble its effort in ensuring that success was achieved in the fight against terrorism.