Eight Christians falsely accused of being members of Boko Haram by Nigeria police and are facing trial, have had their hopes of freedom crushed by the sudden resignation of Justice Adeniyi Ademola from the Federal High Court.
Justice Ademola, who was one of the judges exposed for corruption through a sting operation by the Department of State Security (DSS), was said to have tendered his resignation letter on Wednesday. Sources said the judge, who was due for retirement next February abruptly resigned to avoid further sanction from the Nigerian Judicial Council which was holding a meeting relating to his case on Tuesday and Wednesday.
With Ademola's resignation, the hopes of the eight Christians of getting a reprieve at the tail end of a bizarre trial has further been delayed, as their trial has been further stalled. The framed men have been waiting for trial detainees for six years, they were returned to Kuje Prison yesterday after Ademola resigned.
While on the case, Justice Ademola told the prosecution that he was disappointed with that it was prosecuting a limp case and lamented that the eight men had been detained in various places before being detained at Kuje Prisons.
Justice Ademola's resignation has ensured further detention for the victims, leaving them and their families. The detainees are Abimael Ibrahim, Isah Kano, Yambali Umaru, Danga Wilfred, Jimmy Oba'a, Micheal Manu, Mark Iliya, and Sadiq Ali Amatiga.
The duo of Wilfred and Kano were staffs of Ashaka Cement Company, Ashaka, Gombe State. Umaru worked as a carpenter with an Abuja-based construction firm, Vita Construction Company, Amatiga ran his own haulage company.
Their ordeal began when Ibrahim stole a motorcycle from a police station that had been razed during a Boko Haram attack in Gombe.
Three days after, members of his family advised him to return the motorcycle. Ibrahim went to another police station to report himself. He met Oba'a, a Police Corporal on duty. Oba'a took his statement. As Ibrahim made to leave, another police officer observed that the motorcycle belonged to one of the officers killed during the attack, a development that resulted in an accusation of Boko Haram membership being slapped on him.
He was arrested and transferred to Abuja, where he was shot in the legs and threatened with death if he did not name other members. Out of fear, he gave a list of his friends to the Police and also mentioned the police officers on duty where he had gone to report himself for looting.
It was later confirmed that the owner of the motorcycle was a security man in the home of the Divisional Police Officer killed in the attack
Also, hit by the resignation is another case in which Justice Ademola had fixed November 14 2016, for judgment, but could not deliver it because of his own arrest and subsequent trial. The victims are two men, who had been in detention for long. Justice Ademola asked their lawyers to return to court last month to re-adopt their written addresses after which he promised to deliver judgment. Now, they join the list of detainees with delayed hopes for justice.