Abuja- An Abuja Federal High Court on Monday struck out the terrorism charges filed against Aminu Ogwuche, the alleged mastermind of the April 14 Nyanya bus station bomb explosion that killed 75 persons.
Delivering a ruling on the case, the trial judge, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, struck out the two-count criminal charge filed against the accused for lack of diligent prosecution by the Police.
The alleged offences are punishable under sections 1 (2) (d) and 17 of the Terrorism Prevention Amendment Act of 2013.
The judge said:“this criminal charge against the accused is hereby struck out for want of diligent prosecution by the complainant, that is, the Inspector-General of Police and prosecutor.’’
Justice Ademola also ordered the State Security Service (SSS) to keep Ogwuche in its custody and produce him in court on Dec. 5 for hearing in his bail application filed by his counsel, Mr Ahmed Raji (SAN).
He ordered that Ogwuche should have access to three counsels of his choice, his wife, brother and be given medical attention while in SSS custody.
Ademola also ordered that the accused should be treated at the National Hospital, whenever necessary.
Ogwuche’s counsel, Raji, had submitted in the bail application, that Ogwuche, 29, did not know anything about the charges and, therefore, should be released to further his education, if nothing was found against him.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Ogwuche was alleged to have conspired with others at large to detonate Improvised Explosive Device (IED) at Nyanya bus station, Abuja, on April 14, killing no fewer than 75 persons.
He was subsequently arrested in Sudan, where he allegedly escaped to, after masterminding the attack and extradited to Nigeria for prosecution.
However, his planned arraignment was stalled since his arrest on July 15, as the SSS and Police failed to agree on which of them should be allowed to conduct the trial.
The judge had on Sept. 26, given the security agencies 90 days within which to go and sort out themselves in order to expedite the arraignment and trial.
Later, the SSS, which took custody of the accused, approached the court for an order to permit it to retain him in detention until the conclusion of investigations into the matter. (NAN)