News / Africa

    Hezbollah Arms Suspect Gets Life in Nigeria

    FILE - Military officials stand near ammunition seized from suspected members of Hezbollah after a raid of a building in Nigeria's northern city of Kano on May 30, 2013.
    FILE - Military officials stand near ammunition seized from suspected members of Hezbollah after a raid of a building in Nigeria's northern city of Kano on May 30, 2013.
    Reuters
    A Nigerian court handed a life sentence for illegal arms trafficking and possession on Friday to a Lebanese man suspected of having links with Hezbollah, but it freed another two Lebanese suspects in the case.
     
    Judge Adeniyi Ademola struck out all terrorism charges against the men on lack of evidence, noting that being a member of Hezbollah was not enough to be so accused.
     
    “Hezbollah is not an international terrorist organization in Nigeria. There is no evidence that the ... accused received training in preparation for terrorist acts,” as the prosecution alleged, he said.
     
    Secret service agents arrested Mustapha Fawaz, Abdullah Tahini, Talal Ahmad Roda and Hussain Nurudeen Kossdi between May 16 and May 28.
     
    They suspected them of being members of the Lebanon-based Shi'ite Muslim organization, after a raid on a residence linked to Roda in the main northern city of Kano uncovered anti-tank weapons, landmines, heavy artillery, rocket-propelled grenades and automatic rifles.
     
    Authorities said the weapons were to be used in attacks on American and Israeli targets.
     
    Kossdi was later freed for lack of evidence.
     
    Judge Ademola gave Roda a mandatory life sentence for unlawful possession and importation of firearms, but the others were cleared on lack of evidence of any links to the weapons.
     
    Speaking outside the court, Mustapha Fawaz told reporters he felt vindicated.
     
    “We have lived in Nigeria for most of our lives ... We have invested so much in Nigeria,” he said. “Anybody who invests billions of naira [hundreds of thousands of dollars] in a place will not be interested in destroying it.”

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Uche from: Abidjan
    November 30, 2013 2:46 PM
    Mr. Mustapha is not sure of what he said about his investment in Nigeria,since Muslims all over the world believe in destruction,even self,so as to be 'blessed' with seventy virgins in hell.
    He should rather thank God for escaping jail sentence.

    by: Abel Ogah from: Oju benue state Nigeria
    November 30, 2013 10:53 AM
    A terrorist kills and destroys and has no value for human life. He deserved death sentence and nothing less.

    by: Sunny Enwerem from: Nigeria
    November 30, 2013 5:54 AM
    Well,let's hope the inmates give him true justice in jail for being part of such organization.

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