Nyanya Bomb Blast: Police, SSS Differ Over Prosecution Of Alleged Mastermind
SAN FRANCISCO, September 26, (THEWILL) - The prosecution of the suspect alleged to have masterminded the April 14 Nyanya bombing in Abuja, Aminu Ogwuche, Friday, set the Police against the Department of State Service (DSS).
When the case came up at the Federal High Court, both the Police and the DSS could not agree on which agency to prosecute the suspect as both laid claim to authority to prosecute Ogwuche.
Trouble started at the court when the judge in charge of the case, Justice Adeniyi Ademola and the 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, would not have any of such as he insisted that he had not been instructed by the police authorities to do so.
It would be recalled that the charges before the court were filed by the police in preparatory to the Federal Government's application for Ogwuche's extradition from Sudan, where he allegedly escaped to after the incident.
But the suspect was eventually detained in the custody of the DSS following his extradition from Sudan in July.
However, when the case scheduled before Justice Ademola on Friday came up, 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 noted that the necessary documents that should have accompanied the charges to show that investigations had been completed were not brought before the court by the police. 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“I expect them (the police) to have withdrawn the charges to enable us (DSS) to complete our investigation and hand over the case to the Attorney-General of the Federation, who is statutorily empowered to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 however said.
The DSS counsel told the court 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”.
But Torugbene, who apparently was unaware of the fresh order obtained by the DSS, said he could not withdraw the charges because he did not have the go-ahead by the police to do so. Expressing surprise at the seeming lack of “collaboration” between the two security agencies, Justice Ademola therefore asked them to agree on a date for further hearing, saying the issues between them should have been sorted out before then.
He therefore adjourned further hearing in the matter till November 10.