Over 120 lawyers, including Senior Advocates of Nigeria, have expressed their interest in defending the 19 persons arrested in connection with the murder of a former Nigerian Army Chief of Administration, Gen. Mohammed Alkali.
The revelation came as the accused filed their bail application on Wednesday before Justice Daniel Longji of a Plateau State High Court in Jos.
Lawyer for the accused, Gyang Zi, told news men that the application was filed following the earlier arraignment of the accused on two counts to which they had all pleaded not guilty.
Zi said, “Over 120 lawyers want to be part of the team to defend the accused. They are yet to be granted bail, but the bail application has just been filed. The accused have pleaded not guilty to the charges.”
Spokesman for the Plateau State Police Command, Matthias Tyopev, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, had informed our correspondent that the suspects were arraigned on criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide counts.
He said, “They were charged with two offences – criminal conspiracy under Section 97 and culpable homicide under Section 221 of the Penal Code Law of Northern Nigeria as applicable to Plateau State. They all took their pleas and pleaded not guilty. The case was adjourned till December 10 for argument on their bail application. The accused have been remanded in Jos prison.”
Alkali was said to have retired a few weeks before he was declared missing on September 3, a day after gunmen invaded Dura-Du community in Jos South Local Government Area and killed no fewer than 13 persons.
Three cars were said to have been recovered from a mining pond in Dura-Du District during a cordon and search operation by soldiers led by the Garrison Commander of 3 Armour Division, Rukuba Barracks in Jos, Brig-Gen. Umar Mohammed.