The Federal Government has asked for the leave of court to file an application for the trial of Mr. Mustapha Umar, the alleged suicide bomber in the botched attack of the building housing the Thisday, Moment and Sun newspapers, in camera.
Counsel to the Federal Government at the resumed hearing at the High Court, Abuja, said his request is in order to safeguard and protect the identities of its numerous witnesses already lined up to testify against the suspect.
The government argued that unless the trial was conducted in secret, most of the witnesses would not turn up in court during prosecution for fear of safety of their lives and property.
Presiding Judge, Justice Adeniyi Ademola who was taken aback by the request brought pursuant to Section 31(3) of the Terrorism Act told the lawyer that he may not be favourably disposed to granting such a request because we are in the democratic era.
The Judge also said that Nigeria was neither a banana republic or under a military dictatorship where the Nigerian public would be denied of their right to know.
In a bid to satisfy the position of the Federal Government lawyer, Justice Ademola asked the counsel to bring a formal application and back it up with cogent reasons.
Umar had earlier pleaded not guilty to one count charge of terrorism at an Abuja High Court.
Umar was arrested on 26th April 2012 in a white Honda marked Al 306 MKA allegedly laden with improvised explosive devices.
He was found at Sog Complex, housing ThisDay Newspaper, The Moment and The Sun in Kaduna state.
The judge set the 18th through to the 22nd of March for the defense counsel to make its case.