Law News
Court Strikes out Charges Against Nyanya
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Aminu Sadiq Ogwuche

A federal court in Abuja has struck out a two-count charge filed against the man suspected to have masterminded the Nyanya bus station bomb attack in Abuja, Aminu Sadiq Ogwuche.

Justice Adeniyi Ademola struck out the charge for want of diligent prosecution.
Justice Ademola said: “This criminal charge is hereby struck out for want of diligent prosecution by the complainant, Inspector General of Police (IG) and his prosecutor.”

The police and the Department of State Security (DSS) have been at loggerheads over who should prosecute the suspect.
Although the charge was filed by the DSS, Ogwuche was in the custody of the police.

Justice Ademola had at previous sittings advised both security agencies to resolve their differences.
Yesterday, he was brought to the court following an order of Justice Ademola directing the SSS to produce him.

Ogwuche, a 29-year-old Nigerian Army deserter, was alleged to have masterminded the April 14 Nyanya bus park bombing which killed scores of passengers and injured several others.

The judge noted that there was no effort to prosecute him and no witness was called to testify against him.
The judge ordered the DSS to allow his lawyers, his wife and one other member of the family to have access to him.
The judge also ordered that he be given medical attention and treatment, adding that there was a difference between the two concepts.

Justice Ademola said: “Three lawyers from the complainant’s counsel as well as the complainant’s wife and another family member should be given access to the applicant.

“Applicant should be given medical care in the respondent’s custody and referred to the National Hospital, Abuja if need be.”
Justice Ademola then fixed the hearing for December 5 in an application filed by Ogwuche seeking to compel the SSS to release him or file charges against him.

Over 70 people died as a result of the Nyanya bomb blast which occurred in April.
Ogwuche, who was said to be behind the blast, fled to Sudan where he was apprehended with the help of Interpol.

Having been traced to Sudan, Interpol initiated diplomatic processes for his extradition to Nigeria on July 15, 2014.
The court had earlier refused the ex parte application for bail made by Ogwuche.

Instead, Justice Ademola ordered Ogwuche’s counsel, Ahmed Raji (SAN), to put the DSS and the IG on notice.
Justice Ademola, who expressed dismay over the failure of the security agencies (DSS and police) to resolve the issue of the prosecution of the suspect, directed them to produce him on the adjourned date when the bail application would be heard.

In his bail application brought against the DSS and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) under the fundamental human rights enforcement procedure, Ogwuche is contending that his continued detention has affected his health since he has been denied access to his family members, solicitor and physician.

The suspect further averred that unless the bail is granted, “the respondents will continue to violate his rights which are guaranteed under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999)”.

The case has been adjourned to November 24, 2014 for hearing of the bail application.
The charge, which was struck out by the court, alleged that Ogwuche conspired with others said to be at large, to commit an act of terrorism by detonating improvised explosive devices at the Nyanya bus park which resulted in the death of 75 persons and injuring over a hundred other persons.

The act is punishable under Section 17 of the Terrorism Prevention Amendment Act of 2013.

He was also accused him of being a member of the Boko Haram sect which is a proscribed terrorist organisation and is punishable under Section 16 of the Terrorism Prevention Amendment Act of 2013.

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