COURT GRANTS WITNESSES OF NYANYA BLAST PERMISSION TO TESTIFY IN MASK
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has granted the request of the government, asking that the witnesses in the ongoing trial of the alleged Nyanya bombing mastermind, Aminu Ogwuche, to give their testimonies using masks.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed granted the motion filed by the prosecution to shield his witnesses from the public for security reasons.
Justice Mohammed, in a previous ruling in March 2015, had ordered that the alleged mastermind of the April 14 Nyanya bomb blast, Aminu Ogwuche and five orders be tried in camera and also allowed the prosecution to use aliases for the defence witnesses.
He, however, opposed the application for the witnesses to be masked, claiming at the time that it was alien to Nigerian laws and masking the witnesses would deny the defence the opportunity to properly examine the witnesses.
The Director of Public Prosecution, Musa Din, told the court that the nature of the case for which the accused persons are standing trial is sensitive and there was the need to ensure witnesses’ protection so as not to expose them to danger.
Reacting to the latest court ruling in favour of the prosecution, the lead counsel to the accused, Ahmed Raji, who had earlier opposed the motion, told journalists after the ruling on Monday that the defence would abide with the decision of the court.
Aminu Oguwche and five others have been accused of carrying out the April 14, 2014 Nyanya bomb blast which claimed over 76 lives.