Nyanya Bombing: Lack Of Protection Screen Stalls Ogwuche’s Trial

Aminu-Ogwuche Nyanya bomb suspectThe trial of Aminu Ogwuche and five others suspected to have masterminded a bomb blast at a motor park in Nyanya, a town in the outskirts of Abuja, has been stalled again following the lack of a screen to protect the witnesses.

The trial judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, had in the last two hearings slated the case for trial-within-trial to ascertain the voluntariness of the statements made by the accused persons after they alleged that statement were given under “severe beating and torture” by officials of the Department of State Service (DSS).

However, at the resumed hearing on Wednesday, the inability of the court registrar to provide a screen to protect the witnesses, who are staffers of the DSS, forced the court to adjourn the trial.

Justice Mohammed subsequently adjourned the case to 16 and 17 of June for trial.

The court had earlier given an approval for the witnesses to give their testimonies wearing masks.

The accused persons, Aminu Ogwuche, Ahmed Abubakar, Mohammed Ishaq, Ya’u Saidu, Anas Isa, and Adamu Yusuf, were alleged to have masterminded the April 14, 2014 Nyanya Motor Park blasts that killed scores of passengers and destroyed several vehicles.

On Tuesday, the Federal Government sought the conduct of the trial of six persons with the new administration of Justice Act.

At the resumed hearing of the case before it was adjourned to Wednesday, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Mohammed Diri, requested that the court should try the accused persons under the new administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.

The trial has been adjourned more than four times this year for several reasons.

Nyanya Bomb Blast: Judge Orders Trial To Scrutinise Accused Persons’ Statements

Aminu-OgwucheA Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered a trial to ascertain whether Aminu Ogwuche and four other persons accused of carrying out a bomb attack at a motor park in Nyanya in April last year, voluntarily gave their confessional statements as alleged by the first prosecution witness.

At the resumed hearing on Wednesday, Justice Ahmed Mohammed said it was legal to allow a trial within trial when a party in a case opposed the admissibility of any documents related to the case.

Lawyer to all the accused persons had rejected an attempt by the prosecution to tender documents said to be confessional statements of five of the six accused persons.

Could Not Be Admissible

Trial had continued after several adjournments in the charges against Aminu Ogwuche and five others accused of carrying out the bomb blast in Nyanya Motor Park in Abuja on April 14, 2014.

The first prosecution witness, who continued his testimony, told the court that the accused persons voluntarily offered their confessional statement. They tried to tender the said statements, but defence lawyers rejected the document.

According to the defence lawyers, they were informed by their clients that the statements were given under duress after they were tortured and beaten. On that ground, they insisted that such statements could not be admissible as evidence before the court.

The prosecution disagreed with their position, but he was overruled by the judge

Having listened to all parties in the case, Justice Mohammed agreed with the defence and ordered a trial within trial to determine whether the statements by all the accused persons were given under duress or voluntarily.

This new development means a suspension of the trial pending the outcome of the trial within trail, which has been fixed for June 1 and 2.

The case has been adjourned several times before the decision of the court to scrutinise the accused persons’ statements.

Trial Of Nyanya Bombing Suspects Begins In Abuja

NyanyaTrial of Aminu Ogwuche and five others accused of complicity in the multiple explosions that killed scores of people in Nyanya, a satellite town in Abuja has opened at a Federal High Court in Abuja.

The trial started with an initial hitch as to the modality of shielding the accused person from public view.

However, the matter was eventually resolved and the first prosecution witness, identified as an investigative officer took the witness stand to give his testimony in the case.

The prosecution witness told the court how the six accused persons were arrested and taken into custody.

He also tried to draw the attention of the court to a deportation order for the first accused person, Aminu Ogwuche in 2011, which was over ruled by the judge because of his inability to produce the said document in court.

The lawyer to Ogwuche had opposed his testimony on the ground that it will be prejudicial to the case and the fact that in law the accused cannot testify orally about a document not tendered in court.

This argument was rejected by the prosecution but Justice Ahmed Mohammed agreed with the defence.

Over 70 people were killed and several others were injured in the bomb blast at Nyanya Motor Park in the outskirts of Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, on April 14, 2014.

The High Court granted the request of the government to allow witnesses in the trial of the suspects to give their testimonies using masks.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed granted the motion filed by the prosecution to shield his witnesses from the public for security reasons.

Trial Of Nyanya Bombing Suspects Stalled Again

Aminu Ogwuche Nyanya Bombing suspectThe trial of Aminu Ogwuche and five others suspected to have masterminded a bomb blast at Nyanya Motor Park in the outskirts of Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, on April 14, 2014, has again failed to commence.

Over 70 people were killed in the attack and several others were injured.

A lawyer to the Federal Government told the Federal High Court court that three of its witnesses were out on official assignment and could not be present in court.

He, therefore, asked for a short adjournment to enable him assemble his witnesses and ensure they would be present in court.

The request was not opposed by the various defence counsels.

It is the third time that the case would be adjourned in the last four months.

The Federal Government counsel told the court that his witnesses were out on official assignment and as such he could not open his case.

However, the lead defence counsel, Mr Ahmed Raji, drew the attention of the court to the fact that, they had not asked for bail, because of an agreement for a speedy trial.

He, however, said he would apply for bail or an outright dismissal of the charges if the delay continued, saying the Federal Government has continued to show that it is not ready for trial.

It is expected that the trial would commence at the next adjourned date of May 19, fixed by the trial judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed.

On Monday, the High Court granted the request of the government, to allow witnesses in the ongoing trial of the alleged Nyanya bombing suspects to give their testimonies using masks.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed granted the motion filed by the prosecution to shield his witnesses from the public for security reasons.

Nyanya Bombing: Fresh Application Stalls Ogwuche’s Trial

Nyanya bomb blast OgwucheThe trial of Aminu Ogwuche and six other accused persons suspected of masterminding the Nyanya bomb blast which claimed 75 lives on April 14, 2014, stalled on Wednesday, following a fresh application filed by the prosecutor.

The prosecutor in the application, sought to vary an earlier order of the court.

The seven accused persons, who are standing trial before Justice Ahmed Mohammed on a seven-count charge bordering on terrorism, are Aminu Ogwuche, Ahmad Abubakar, Mohammed Ishaq, Ya’u Saidu, Anas Isah, Adamu Yusuf and Nasiru Abubakar.

At the resumed hearing of the case, the prosecutor informed the court of his application, seeking to vary the order of the court on the shielding of prosecution witnesses.

The application was challenged by the defence counsel, Mr Ahmed Raji, who accused the prosecutor of deliberately frustrating the trial.

Following the fresh application, the trial judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed fixed the hearing of the application and the commencement of trial for May 11 and 12.

On February 6, the arraignment of Ogwuche and the other accused persons was also stalled, following the absence of a counsel to represent some of the accused persons.

One year ago, a bomb blast occurred at Nyanya Motor Park, leaving several persons dead. Two weeks after the April 14 blast another explosion occurred near the park also leaving several persons dead.

After the blasts, Ogwuche was said to have escaped to Sudan, but was arrested and brought back to Nigeria.

 

Terrorism: Alleged Nyanya Bombers Plead Not Guilty

NyanyaThe alleged mastermind of the April 14 bomb blast at a motor park in Nyanya, a satellite town in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, Aminu Ogwuche and five other accused persons have pleaded not guilty to charges of terrorism.

After three adjournments and failure to arraign the alleged mastermind of the Nyanya bomb blast, the accused persons finally took their plea on Friday, March 6.

They were charged with conspiracy to commit terrorism, non-disclosure of information about a terrorist act and terrorism, all punishable under the Terrorism Act.

The eight count charge, which borders on conspiracy to commit terrorism and terrorism led to the destruction of properties, injuries and the loss of about 78 lives in Nyanya.

After taking their pleas, all the accused persons, through their lawyers, applied to the court for their clients to be transferred to the Kuje Medium Prison.

According to the lawyers, having taken their plea, they were no longer suspects, but accused persons and should be kept in the prison.

The Prosecution opposed the application on the ground that Terrorism Act is different from other criminal acts and the increasing cases of jail break necessitates that the accused persons be remanded in the custody of the Department of State Services.

In a short ruling, the Judge agreed with the prosecution and remanded the accused persons in the custody of the Department of State Services.

The court said that Section 27 of the Terrorism Act empowers a prosecution to apply for 90 days to remand an accused person and can renew the application.

The case was adjourned to March 17 for trial.

Absence Of Interpreter Stalls Nyanya Bombing Suspects’ Trial

NyanyaThe trial of the suspected mastermind of the Nyanya bombing of April last year, Aminu Ogwuche and six others has been stalled following the absence of a court interpreter.

Trial Judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, told the court that the interpreter was on a compassionate leave and given that some of the accused persons do not speak English, it would be a breach of the law and their fundamental human rights to go on with the case, without the interpreter.

All the lawyers in the case agreed with the trial judge who subsequently adjourned the case to March 6 for arraignment and commencement of trial.

He also made an order for accelerated hearing in the case.

The case was rescheduled for February 20 after the the absence of some counsels representing some of the accused stalled the case on February 6.

The seven accused persons, who are to be arraigned before Justice Mohammed on a seven count charge of terrorism are Aminu Ogwuche, Ahmad Abubakar, Mohammed Ishaq, Ya’u Saidu, Anas Isah, Adamu Yusuf and Nasiru Abubakar.

Counsels for five out of the seven accused persons were absent on the February 6 trial day, forcing Justice Mohammed to reschedule the trial for February 20.

They are accused of masterminding the twin bombing in Nyanya in the outskirts of Abuja which claimed 75 lives on April 14, 2014.

Ogwuche was extradited from Sudan with the help of Interpol on July 15, 2014 to answer charges of terrorism leveled against him.

Absence Of Prosecution, Accused Stalls Trial Of Alleged Nyanya Blast Mastermind

Aminu_ogwucheThe inability of the prosecution to produce Aminu Ogwuche, the alleged mastermind of the Nyanya bombing of April 14 and May 1, on Monday stalled hearing of the case at a Federal High Court in Abuja

A disagreement between the Nigeria Police and the Department of State Service (DSS), at the last sitting, over who should prosecute the accused led to an adjournment by Justice Adeniyi Ademola for the two security agencies to go and do their house cleaning before the commencement of the case.

In court today, officials of the two agencies and the accused person were absent.

This did not go down well with the Judge who had to make a fresh order for the accused to be produced in court on the November 24 to face the charges against him.

Following the absence of the Ogwuche, Nigeria Police and DSS at the prosecution, lawyer to the accused sought the leave of the court by way of motion exparte under the Fundamental Human Rights enforcement rules, to apply for the bail of his client .

The lawyer to the accused, Ahmed Raji told the court that the accused has been in custody since July 15 this year and has not had access to his family, lawyers and doctors.

He also asked for an interim order restraining the security agencies from arresting or detaining the accused person, if granted bail.

Justice Adeniyi turned down the request for bail but ordered that the parties in the suit be put on notice to appear before the court for hearing in the case.

Justice Adeniyi, who frowned at the absence of the prosecution and the accused person in court, said it was a disobedience to court order which will not be condoned.

He ordered the Department of State Security to produce the accused in court at the next adjourned date to answer charges against him.

Ogwuche was extradited from Sudan on July 15 on the allegation that he was the mastermind of the twin bomb blast in Nyanya, a satellite town in the Federal Capital Territory on April 14 and May 1 2014 .