Aminu Sadiq Ogwuche on Thursday has asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to compel the Federal Government to pay him a sum of N100 million for infringement on his fundamental human rights after being detained by the Department of State Security.
Aminu Ogwuche was fingered as the mastermind of the April 14 Nyanya bomb blast that killed about 75 bus passengers and injured over 100 persons.
Ogwuche was extradited from Sudan by the Interpol. A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja had declared that the DSS had caried out properly investigations and that the allaged mastermind could not be linked to the crimes he was alleged to have committed.
He contended that the Federal Government, having breached his constitutional rights, ought to be compelled by the court to pay damages to him.
Besides, he prayed the court to order his immediate release from detention pending whenever the government is ready to conduct his trial.
Ogwuche made the application through his lawyer Mr. Ahmed Raji, SAN.
He relied on Order 2, Rule (1),(2),(3) of the Fundamental Enforcement Procedure Rule and Sections 34,35,36,37 and 42 of the 1999 Constitution to seek for an enforcement of his fundamental human right.
Though he initially cited the DSS and the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF as respondents in the suit, he however applied for the court to strike out the name of the AGF, an application that was accordingly granted.
Alleging that he was illegally arrested, Ogwuche, through his lawyer Raji, SAN, argued that it was based on the request of the Federal Government that the Interpol placed a red alert on him consequent upon which he was apprehended in Sudan and extradited to Nigeria.
Raji further drew the attention of the court to the fact that the charge upon which Ogwuche was arrested and detained had been struck out for lack of diligent prosecution.
He added that the charge was the foundation of the extradition order which led to the arrest of the applicant.
Raji insisted that FG ought to have concluded its investigations before requesting for the extradition order.
He argued that it was illegal for the DSS to still retain the accused person in its custody without arranging him over the commission of any act of criminality.
Beside arguing that the ex parte order gotten by the DSS to detain the applicant for 90 days was a miscarriage of justice, Raji, stressed that section 27 of the Terrorism Prevention Act could not override the provisions Section 35 of the Constitution which he said preserved the right to liberty of every citizen.
He therefore prayed the court to compel the DSS to release Ogwuche conditionally or unconditionally, admit him to administrative bail or arraign him within 48 hours.
Meantime, trial Justice Ademola Adeniyi has fixed today to hear the response of counsel to the DSS Mr. Clifford Osagie to the application.
It will be recalled that the court earlier struck out a three-count charge that was filed against Ogwuche by the Police for want of diligent prosecution.
The case was terminated following bickering between the Police and the DSS over which of them should conduct the trial.
Though the DSS insisted that the initial charge by the police was only meant to expedite the process that led to the successful extradition of the accused to Nigeria, however, since then, it is yet to file any charge against him.
Ogwuche was in the charge that was struck out, alleged to have conspired with others (at large), to commit an act of terrorism by detonating improvised explosive devices at Nyanya Motor Park, which resulted in the death of 75 persons and injuring over a hundred other persons.
Count two of the charge reads, “That you, Aminu Sadiq Ogwuche, Male, and others now at large, on the 14th of April, 2014 at Nyanya, FCT, Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did facilitate the activities of persons engaged in an act of terrorism; by detonating improvised explosive devices at the Nyanya motor park which resulted in the death of 75 persons and injuring over a hundred other persons.”
The alleged offences were said to be punishable under sections 1 (2) (d) and 17 of the Terrorism Prevention Amendment Act of 2013.