A federal court in Abuja has acquitted the alleged mastermind of the Nyanya bomb attack in Abuja, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.
The court struck out a two-count terrorism charge against Aminu Oguche on Monday by Justice Adeniyi Ademola for lack of diligent prosecution by the state.
The Department of State Security (DSS) had in May declared Oguche and one Rufai Tsiga wanted for the bombing of the Nyanya motor park, which led to the death of about 75 persons. He was later reported to have fled to Sudan, where he was studying Arabic Language at the International University of Africa.
Ogwuche was extradited from Sudan in July, after some 17 had been fulfilled by Nigeria.
The Inspector-General of Police on behalf of the federal government had initially filed charges before a federal high court in Abuja.
A row however emerged between the police and the DSS on which of them had the authority to prosecute the bombing suspect. The DSS had secured a court order to remand him in their custody for further investigation for 90 days, but the security service is yet to arraign the suspect. The DSS was reported to have claimed it was still drafting charges.
The DSS had in September informed the court about the order of a judge of another federal high court, which granted it 90 days to wrap up its investigation into the terrorism allegations levelled against the suspect.
While police counsel Oloye Torugbene argued that the matter was for Ogwuche’s arraignment, the DSS counsel Clifford Osagie countered, saying the police initial charge was to effect the extradition of the suspect from Sudan.
“We urge the police to drop its charge, because before the 90 days ordered by the court elapse, we must have completed our investigation and file in our report to the Attorney General of the Federation for further directives,” Osagie had said, but the DSS is yet to arraign Ogwuche after the 90 days have elapsed.
Ogwuche, who was upon his arrest quoted to have admitted to committing the crime, has filed a case alleging the violation of his fundamental rights, following the DSS’ failure to arraign him before the 90 days grace expired.
The hearing of the case for the enforcement of his fundamental human right has been adjourned to December 5.