The court sitting for the trial of some Bureau De Change operators arrested in March 2021 for allegedly sponsoring the Boko Haram terrorism in the country has been scheduled for Friday, September 17, 2021.
SaharaReporters learnt from competent court sources that the hearing will hold at Court Room 4, Federal High Court Abuja at the Federal Capital Territory.
A source said, “I just confirmed their next sitting. It will be on 17th September, Court Room No 4, Federal High Court Abuja, behind the Federal Ministry of Justice. Time: 10am.”
The court hearing comes six months after a letter written by the Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABDON) requested that those who are being detained by the Department of State Services be admitted on bail, pending the conclusion of the investigation.
The source who spoke to SaharaReporters said the court first sat on the 18th of August but the DSS refused to come to court with the defendants.
He said the lawyers of the operators requested that his clients appear in court during the next sitting which was on September 2.
However, the hearing could not hold due to the ailing health of the presiding judge. The defendants, it was gathered, were not brought to the court.
He noted, “The association of bureau de change operators hired a barrister for their members. They went for a court sitting and the barrister wanted the DSS to bring his clients for the next sitting.
“The judge asked the DSS to bring the clients. But even during the second court sitting, the operators were absent. The DSS asked the judge to give them extra days but he said no that they already had enough time to carry out an investigation.
“The hearing was scheduled for September 2 again but the DSS did not come to the court with the operators and the judge was not feeling well so it was rescheduled again.”
In March, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said the Nigerian government arrested the Bureau De Change operators who were facilitating the transfer of money to Boko Haram terrorists.
He had said some Nigerians transferring money to the sect from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were working with the BDC operators.
“Bureaus de change are facilitating money to terrorists. We have already worked with the UAE. Convictions have been achieved of Nigerians who are transferring money to Boko Haram terrorists and this also happens domestically. And I tell you that by the time we finish this investigation, the shocking details will surprise many Nigerians,” Shehu had said.
Dozens of persons have been arrested by security agents in an ongoing nationwide crackdown on suspected financiers and collaborators of Boko Haram.
Those arrested are being kept in military and DSS facilities in Abuja and other places.
Multiple sources said the closely guarded operation is being coordinated by Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), in collaboration with the Department of State Services (DSS), the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).