Sunday, 28 September 2014

Confusion as Police and SSS Lay Claim to the Prosecution of Nyanya Bomb Mastermind



The trial of Sadiq Ogwuche, one of the suspected master mind of the Nyanya bomb blast which killed over 75 persons and injured many others, seems to have hit a rough patch as This day reports...
which killed over 75 persons and injured others,


The police and the Department of State Service were at loggerheads over the prosecution of the man believed to have coordinated the April 14 bomb blast in Nyanya, Abuja, Aminu Ogwuche.
At the Federal High Court friday, both the Police and the SSS laid claim to authority to prosecute the bomb suspect.
The judge who was assigned to handle the case, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, DSS' lawyer, Cliff Osagie, urged the police to withdraw the initial charges filed against the accused to enable the DSS to complete its investigation on the matter.

But counsel representing the police, Oloye Torugbene, who is a Deputy Superintendent of Police, insisted that he would not withdraw the charges as he was not instructed by the police authorities to do so.
The charges before the court were filed by the police preparatory to the Federal Government's application for Ogwuche's extradition from Sudan, where he allegedly escaped to after the incident.

However, the suspect was detained in the custody of the DSS upon his successful extradition to the country in July.
The matter was scheduled for arraignment before Justice Ademola on Friday, but the police who had filed the charges could not produce Ogwuche and his co-accused in court apparently because the suspects were not in their custody.

The judge observed that necessary documents that should accompany the charges to show investigations had been completed and that the police were ready for trial to begin were not before the court.
Not satisfied with Torugbene's explanations, the judge called on Osagie who was in court for a different matter, to assist the court with possible information at his disposal.

"I expect them (the police) to have withdrawn the charges to enable us (DSS) to complete our investigation and hand over the case to the Attorney-General of the Federation, who is statutorily empowered to prosecute cases like this," Osagie said.
He explained that after the accused was extradited from Sudan, the DSS on September 11 obtained an order from Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the same Federal High Court in Abuja to further keep the accused in custody for 90 days "in the first instance".

In response, Torugbene, who apparently was unaware of the fresh order obtained by the DSS, said he could not withdraw the charges because he had not got the instruction to do so.
Justice Ademola, who expressed surprise about the seeming lack of "collaboration" between the two security agencies, asked them to agree on a date before which the issues should have been sorted out.
The matter was then adjourned till November 10.
Over 100 persons died in the blast, which was said to have been masterminded by the accused before escaping to Sudan.

Ogwuche and others accused along with him were said to have been arrested in Sudan with the assistance of the Interpol.
In the three counts instituted against him by the police, Ogwuche was alleged to have conspired with others (at large), to commit an act of terrorism by detonating improvised explosive devices at Nyanya Motor Park, which resulted in the death of 75 persons and injuring over  100 others.

Count two of the charge reads, “That you, Aminu Sadiq Ogwuche, Male, and others now at large, on the 14th of April, 2014 at Nyanya, FCT, Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did facilitate the activities of persons engaged in an act of terrorism; by detonating improvised explosive devices at the Nyanya motor park which resulted in the death of 75 persons and injuring over a hundred other persons.”

The alleged offences were said to be punishable under sections 1 (2) (d) and 17of the Terrorism Prevention Amendment Act of 2013.

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