A Full-blown trial of the alleged mastermind of the April 14, 2014, bomb blast that killed over 75 persons and wounded 100 others at a crowded motor park in Nyanya, Abuja, Aminu Ogwuche, commenced before the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, yesterday.
In a bid to prove its allegation that it was indeed Ogwuche and five other alleged members of the Boko Haram terrorist sect that perfected the terrorist act, the government, yesterday, brought its star witness to testify before the trial court.
The witness, who was simply identified as the ‘PW-1’, took his time and narrated how undercover operatives of the Department for State Service, DSS, apprehended each of the six accused persons.
He told the court that aside the first accused person, Ogwuche, who, he said, was arrested in Sudan and extradited to Nigeria to face trial, the five other accused persons scattered themselves to different states in the Northern part of the country.
The other accused persons on trial alongside Ogwuche are Ahmad Rufai Abubakar (a.k.a Abu Ibrahim/Maiturare), Mohammed Sani Ishaq, Ya’u Saidu (a.k.a Kofar Rama), Anas Isah, Adamu Yusuf and Nasiru Abubakar.
They are answering to an 8-count terrorism charge that was preferred against them.
by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.
The offence they committed was said to be contrary to sections 1, 2(a), 5, 8, 16 and 17 of the Terrorism Prevention Amendment Act of 2013.
While expressing the determination of the government to successfully nail the accused persons to the charge, the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, Mr. M.S. Diri, told the court yesterday that the prosecution will call a total of five witnesses and tender 37 exhibits in the course of the trial.
“The facts of the case are stated in the proof of evidence which has already been served on the accused persons. With the kind permission of the court I wish to call the PW-1. The name of the PW-1 is the first on the list of witnesses before the court”, the DPP added.
FG told the court that the statements of all the accused persons would be tendered through the PW-1.
Meantime, in his Evidence-in- Chief yesterday, the PW-1, told the court that the first suspect to be arrested by operatives of the DSS, was the 2nd accused person, Ahmad Abubakar.
He said that Abubakar was captured on April 22, 2014, at Sanga Local Government Area in Kaduna state.
According to the PW-1: “ I work with the DSS as an investigator. My lord I know the six accused persons. I came to know them when there was a bomb blast at El-Rufai Park in Nyanya, Abuja, on April 14, 2014.
“I was directed to investigate the bomb blast, where a vehicle was used to detonate an IED . During the course of the investigation, these accused persons were arrested.
“The first to be arrested was Ahmad Abubakar (2nd accused person). He was arrested on April 22, 2014, at Sanga in Kaduna state.
“The second person we arrested was Muhammadu Sani Ishaq (3rd accused). He was arrested at Jabi in FCT on April 24. The third person that was arrested was Y’au ( 4th accused) on April 29, in Kano state.
“On May 3, we caught Anas, the 5th accused person in Katsina state and later arrested Adamu (6th accused) in Bauchi on May 5.
“The last person we arrested was Aminu Ogwuche. My Lord he was arrested in Sudan and extradited to Nigeria.
“He was brought back to this country on July 15. My lord I had known Ogwuche before the other suspects. I got to know him in 2011 when he was deported from the United Kingdom by the British government because of two m ajor reasons. He was then deported because he belonged to a terrorist group that was banned in the UK”.