A Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday ordered suspected bombers of Nyanya, a suburb of Abuja, on April 14, 2014, to remain in the custody of the Department of State Services.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed made the order after the accused persons pleaded not guilty to eight counts of terrorism charges.
The six accused persons are Aminu Ogwuche, Akhmad Rufai Abubakar (aka Abu Ibrahim/Maitirare), Mohammed Sani Ishaq, Ya’u Saidu (aka Kofar Rama), Anas Isah, Adamu Yusuf and Nasiru Abubakar.
They were arraigned on an eight-count charge filed by the office of Attorney-General of the Federation, to which the accused persons pleaded not guilty.
They were accused of conspiracy, engaging in act of terrorism, belonging to Boko Haram, an outlawed group, and refusal to disclose to security agencies, information that would have help prevent an act of terrorism.
Ogwuche was, in count six, accused of rendering supports to a terrorist group by giving money at different times and places in Abuja to the widows of members of the terrorist organisation known as Boko Haram.
Ogwuche and Abubakar (aka Dr. Tsiga) were, in count seven, accused carrying out “surveillance and identified Silverbird Galleria and other locations as potential targets of terrorist attack.”
Shortly after the accused persons pleaded to the charge, lead prosecution lawyer and Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation, Mohammed Saidu Diri, applied that the court further remand the accused persons in the custody of the DSS.
Diri, who relied on the provision of Section 27(1) of the Terrorism Prevention Act 2013 (as amended), said his application was informed by the recent increase in cases of prison breaks in the country.
The defence team led by Armed Raji (SAN) objected strenuously to Diri’s application. He urged the court to remand the accused persons in prison custody pending the conclusion of trial.
Raji argued that the court would be unfair to the accused person, should it allow their detention in the custody of the agency involved in the prosecution of the accused.
The defence argued that it was an indictment on the state that it could not provide adequate security in the prisons
Ruling, Justice Mohammed upheld Diri’s argument. The judge held that Section 27(1) of the TPA allowed the detention or remand of accused persons in the custody of law enforcement agencies once the prosecution made an application to that effect.
He adjourned to March 17 (at 1pm) for the commencement of trial.