Terrorism: Court Dismisses Ogwuche’s Application For Freedom, N100m Damages

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday dismissed an application filed by counsel to Aminu Ogwuche, the alleged mastermind of the April, 2014 bus station bomb blast at Nyanya, Abuja, which killed no fewer than 75 persons.

Ogwuche is being held for allegedly masterminding the bomb blast that also wounded many people and destroyed property valued at millions of naira, after which he escaped to Sudan before his arrest by INTERPOL and extradition to Nigeria.

His counsel, Mr Ahmed Raji (SAN) had in December, 2014 filed an application for the enforcement of his client’s fundamental human rights to freedom, and sought his release on bail.

Raji also urged the court to compel the respondents, that is, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and the State Security Service (SSS) to pay Ogwuche N100 million damages for illegal detention.

Delivering Wednesday’s ruling on application, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, the trial judge, held that the applicant’s rights have not been breached.

He also said that issues of fundamental human rights are not absolute in cases of terrorism that carry the death penalty.

Ademola said the court also took `judicial notice’ of the fact that the applicant had since been arraigned by the AGF before another judge, Justice Ahmed of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

He said: “The suit is dismissed and there is no order as to cost against the applicant.

“The applicant’s fundamental right has not been breached as claimed.

“In conclusion, the court also takes judicial notice of the fact that the applicant has since been arraigned before another judge.’’

Raji had said the application was brought pursuant to Order 2, Rule (1) (2) (3) of the Fundamental Enforcement Procedure Rule and Sections 34,35,36,37 and 42 of the 1999 Constitution.

Raji further noted that it was assumed that the state had concluded all its investigations before requesting for the extradition order.

He however contended that further detention of the complainant in the SSS custody without arraignment was illegal and pre-judicial.

Ogwuche’s counsel argued that the ex parte order secured by the SSS to detain the applicant for 90 days was a miscarriage of justice.

He also contended that Section 27 of the Terrorism Prevention Act could not override the provisions of Section 35 of the Constitution which preserved the right to liberty of every citizen.

Raji had, therefore, urged the court to compel the SSS to release the complainant conditionally or unconditionally, admit him to administrative bail or arraign him within 48 hours of the judgment.

He also sought the sum of N100 million being general damages for his client.

Opposing the application, Mr Mohammed Dili, the prosecution counsel, had submitted that the accused had already been arraigned before Justice Ahmed Mohammed and urged the court to dismiss it.

Author: newsadmin2

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