Police in Plateau State on Monday arraigned nine men and a minor at the High Court in Jos over the killing of 22 commuters.
The commuters were brutally murdered on August 14 on the Rukaba road in Jos, Plateau. They were reportedly returning from an annual Islamic gathering in Bauchi State to Ikare, Ondo State.
The suspects – Matthew Daniel, Jurbe Zamani, Dapar Sunday, Bernard Francis, Daniel Bulus, Yakubu John, Stephen Ishaku, Yohanna Marshal and a minor – pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Prosecution counsel Muleng Alex asked the court to remand the suspects in prison custody before a definite date for hearing of the case.
Defence counsel Yakubu Bawa, however, said: “My Lord, it is not true that services have been effected on all the accused persons because from our records, it has only been effected on one person instead of all.
“Secondly, we are opposing the application to the commutal of the minor, who is 17 years old, to prison custody as we seek to replace him with any of his guardians in accordance with provisions of the law.
“We are making this passionate appeal to this honourable court on the sixth defendant, a minor in accordance with Section 175 of the criminal Justice law of 2018.”
Mr Bawa explained that they were opposing the application because “the minor has filed his defence which is dated Sept 24 and filed on the same date”.
After listening to both sides, Justice Arum Ashom adjourned the case until October 13 for definite hearing.
Ashom ordered that the remaining eight defendants should be effected with proper service before the next adjourned date.