The Bauchi State government has dragged a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Barr. Yakubu Dogara, and 28 others before a State High Court for 11-count criminal charges.
The criminal charges against the defendants followed the alleged killings and destruction of properties in the wake of celebration of leader and crusader of the Sayawa nation, late Baba Peter Gonto, slated for Bogoro, headquarters of Bogoro local government area in December, 2021.
The suit endorsed by the Chief Registrar of Bauchi High Court has 11 count charges made public on Friday against Dogara who is the number one defendant alongside 28 others who were accused of conspiring to cause bodily harm on people in the area in order to frustrate the progress of the memorial anniversary.
The eleven count suit reads in part: “Pursuant to Sections 98 (1) & (2), 100 (b) and 103 (b) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Bauchi State, 2018. Count One: That you, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, male of Maitama, Abuja-FCT, Air Commodore Ishaku Komo (Rtd), male of Kaduna-Abuja Road, Kaduna, Kaduna State, Rev. Markus Musa, male of Tafawa Balewa Town, Peter Emmanuel, male of Tafawa Balewa Town, Ga’Allah Daniel, male of Tafawa Balewa Town, Iliya Emmanuel, male of Tafawa Balewa Town.”
The charge sheet further contained that, “On or about the 29th, 30 and/or 31st day of December, 2021 agreed to do or cause to be done an illegal act to wit: you conspired amongst yourselves and others at large to incite the Youths of Tafawa Balewa and Bogoro Towns to disturb public peace.
“It also includes the burning of people’s houses, blocking access roads, physically attacking invited guests and other participants attending the 21″Year Memorial Anniversary and Book Launch of Late Baba Peter Gonto at Bogoro Town an destroy and burn all facilities provided for the occasion, there by committe offence contrary to Section 96 and punishable under Section 97 of the Penal Code Law of Bauchi State”.
Also contained is the charges are, “On or about the 29th, 30th and/or 31st day of December, 2021 agreed to do or cause to be done an illegal act to wit: you conspired amongst yourselves and others at large to commit the offence mischief by fire by burning people’s houses in Tafawa Balewa and Bogoro To during the 21 year Memorial Anniversary and Book Launch of Late Baba Pe Gonto at Bogoro Town and to destroy and burn all facilities provided for the occasion, thereby committed an offence contrary to section 96 and punishable under section 97 of the penal code law of Bauchi state.
“On or about the 29,30th and/or 31st day of December, 2021 agreed to do or cause to be done an illegal act to wit: you conspired amongst yourselves and others at large to commit the offence of Culpable Homicide during the Year Memorial Anniversary and Book Launch of Late Baba Peter Gonto at Bo Town and that you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 96 punishable under Section 97 of the Penal Code Law of Bauchi State.”
Though the charge did not contain the number of people who were killed in the violent attack, nor number of houses razed, unconfirmed reports had it that not fewer than six people were killed while many houses, cars and other properties were set ablaze by hoodlums.
In the brigandage by the mob, the Emirs of Bauchi, Dr Rilwanu Suleiman Adamu and Dass, Alh Usman Bilyaminu Othman, were attacked leading to the damage of cars in the two convoys including the official vehicle of the Emir of Dass.
No date has been fixed for the commencement of the case but court processes were being served as indicated by the charge sheet.
It will be recalled that the former Speaker, Yakubu Dogara had allegedly written a letter to the Inspector General of Police, the Director-General of State Security Services, warning that there was impending security threat if the 21st remembrance anniversary of Baba Gonto was allowed to holdl a development that led to accusation and counter accusations among prominent Sayawa people of the state.