By Dare Lawal
A Federal High Court in Abuja has sentenced a Lebanese, Tahal Roda, to life imprisonment on terrorism charges.
The Department of State Security (DSS) had charged Roda to court alongside two other Lebanese, Mustapha Fawaz and Abdullah Thani, who are co-owners of Wonderland amusement park and Amigo supermarket.
The court presided over by Justice Adeniyi Ademola however freed the two other suspects.
It would be recalled that the suspects were arrested in May after an underground bunker was discovered following a raid at a house linked to them in Kano. Assorted weapons and ammunition including rocket propelled guns and anti tank weapons were discovered in the house. Their properties including the amusement park and the supermarket were subsequently sealed.
The Federal Government subsequently dragged the accused, Mustapha Fawaz, Abdallah Thahani and Talal Ahmed Rodo, to court over terrorist activities bordering on illegal importation of firearms.
The Lebanese were also accused of being members of Hezbollah, the Lebanon based group considered a terrorist organisation by the U.S.
The prosecution counsel, Simon Egede, said during the trial that based on the evidence, the accused persons were guilty of the charges and that Hezbollah was a terrorist group and should be treated as such.
He explained that any organization that was involved in bombing and destruction was a terrorist organization and therefore prayed the court to convict the accused.
However, Robert Clarke, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, who is the defence counsel, contended that Hezbollah had not been pronounced a terrorist organization by the Nigerian Government. He said it was just like any other group.