The State Security Service, SSS, tendered 250 improvised explosive devices, IEDs, as evidence against six suspected Boko Haram members who were planning to use it against the Vice President, Namadi Sambo at an event on July 28, 2011 in Kaduna State.
Even though the trial judge, Bilkisu Yusuf, admitted the evidence, she refused accepting it for safe-keeping and said the SSS should take custody of it until it was needed by the court for examination.
Meanwhile, there was an atmosphere of tension at the court when the evidence was brought under tight security. The entire premises was cordoned off by the SSS, prison guards and armed policemen who took strategic positions within the court.
On December 6, a senior army officer who led the team of soldiers that apprehended the suspects on their way to carry out their attack in Kaduna State had informed the court that the IEDs were so powerful that they could bring down the entire building in a matter of seconds.
The witness, whose identity was masked due to the sensitive nature of the case, told the court that the suspects had hid themselves inside a tarpaulin-covered trailer in order to beat a security checkpoint at Gummel Junction in Kachia, Kaduna State.
The case was adjourned to January 9, 2013 for further hearing. Prior to the adjournment, a radioactive expert with the SSS, Mr Michael Adebayo, said the IEDs were so sensitive that they could be triggered by constant contact, and as such, it was risky bringing them into open court.
He added that once the explosives were connected to cordex cables, they could bring down a 5-storey building within 7km radius of impact.
Earlier, 2 other prosecution witnesses had confirmed that they had recovered the IEDs, in addition to four handsets and a black Honda Civic car from the Boko Haram kingpins.