Seated outside the dock during a Maiduguri courtroom, her entire body veiled from head-to-toe together with her typical adornment of niqab that leaves only a small opening for her pair of eyes glasses, Aisha Wakil, aka Mama Boko Haram (mother to Boko Haram), listened calmly because the judge read out the ruling on an invitation by her lawyer who had earlier prayed the court to grant her bail.
Mama Boko Haram was within the court to defend allegations of a multimillion-naira fraud filed against her by Nigeria’s anti-graft body, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
It was Monday, December 5, 2019. She, alongside two other suspects, Tahir Daura and Prince Lawal Shoyade, was arranged before Justice Aisha Kumalia of the Borno State supreme court, Maiduguri. They were standing trial during an N66 million fraud allegation case.
The two other defendants worked in her NGO, Complete Care and Aid Foundation (CCAF).
Kamala granted the bail but with a bail of N30 million and provision of two sureties who must be at the extent of permanent secretary within the state. HumAngle gathered none of them was ready to fulfill the bail conditions.
The EFCC charged them to court on an amended five-count charge, bordering on “conspiracy, obtaining money by pretense and cheating, to the tune of N111.6 million”.
While they pleaded acquitted to the fees, Benjamin Manji, the EFCC lawyer, applied for an attempted date and asked the court to remand the defendants in prison pending the case’s determination.
The Judge granted this request and adjourned the case until February 10, 2020, for the commencement of trial.
That was the start of what now seems like an unending stay of the lady many revered for her closeness to the Boko Haram fighters.
The EFCC had continued to usher in fresh charges against her and her colleagues at CCAF – all bordering on alleged advance fee fraud. The EFCC had three different cases, one at a Federal supreme court and two at the Borno State supreme court.
There are several allegations of unwholesome practices against those that need to be providing lifesaving services for persons suffering from the decades-old insurgency within the northeast.
Wakil has earned international fame for her claims to assist the Nigerian Government end the insurgency by leveraging on her contacts with some members of the Boko Haram terrorist organization whom she generally mentioned as her “children” whenever she urged them to embrace peace.
Until her current ordeal, she bestrode the conflict arena as a serious think about the government’s efforts to halt violent extremism.
Her health status adds to her predicament during the trial- she is usually lifted in and out of the courtroom thanks to the difficulty to steer by herself