27th November, 2014
The Nigeria Police High Command has described as misleading recent media reports that it bungled the prosecution of Aminu Ogwuche, a suspect alleged to be the mastermind of a bomb blast which claimed over 80 lives in Nyanya, a suburb of Abuja last April.
A Federal High Court Abuja presided by Justice Adeniyi Ademola early in the week struck out the case against the suspect for lack of diligent prosecution by the police.
But the police said on Thursday that it was not in charge of prosecution of the terror suspect.
In a statement signed by police spokesperson Emmanuel Ojukwu, the police said the Department of State Security (DSS), had intelligence on the Nyanya Bombing and was investigating it. The DSS however made a formal request to the Nigeria Police to assist in extraditing o Ogwuche to Nigeria from Sudan, through the Interpol channel of which the Nigeria Police is well versed.
The police said it was at this stage that it was involved in the case and filed charges against Ogwuche, based on information that he fled to Sudan.
“The filing of charges against the suspect is a legal procedure to enable the Nigeria Police formally request the Sudanese authorities to grant Nigeria’s extradition request in respect of the suspected fugitive.
“For the records, copy of filed charge(s) against a fugitive must be appended to documents in support of extradition request made to the host country, which in this case, is Sudan.
“These facts were made known to the court when it insisted on the production of the accused even before his extradition to Nigeria,” Police said in the statement.
The law enforcement agency added that after Ogwuche’s extradition to Nigeria was accomplished successfully, the DSS, obtained a Court Order to remand the suspect for an initial period of three months in line with the Prevention of Terrorism Act and also liaised with the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation to undertake his prosecution.
“For the record, at no time did the Nigeria Police arraign the suspect in court for terrorism related offences.
“Moreover, the purported prosecution/arraignment by the Police could not have happened as the Police could not prosecute a suspect it never arrested, never investigated nor had in its custody.
“It is therefore grossly erroneous, mischievous and malicious to impute lack of diligent prosecution to the Police.
“The Nigeria Police Force is manifestly and positively committed to the will of Nigerians to rid the nation of violent crimes like terrorism. Many of our officers have paid the supreme sacrifice on account of this.
“The Police while respecting the rights of the media to publish, however appeals that due diligent check be observed to ensure that misleading information is not disseminated to the reading public,” the Police concluded.