HENRY OKAH FOUND GUILTY BY SOUTH AFRICAN COURT; FACES LIFE JAIL TERM
Johannesburg Magistrate court in South African found Henry Okah guilty of terrorism charges leveled against him by the federal government of Nigeria.
The sentence includes a life jail term. The sentence will be carried out on January 31st or February 1st. The judge however gave Okah room for mitigation.
Okah is accused of masterminding two car bombings in Abuja on October 1 in 2010.
12 people were killed and 36 were injured. He was arrested in Johannesburg the following day.
The Presiding Judge Neels Claassen, says Mr. Okah was found guilty on 13 counts ranging from conspiracy to commit terrorism to detonating explosives.
Okah was allegedly the leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), that claimed responsibility for the blasts.
He was charged with engaging in terrorist activities, conspiracy to engage in terrorist activity, and delivering, placing, and detonating an explosive device.
Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe, who was first to give evidence at the opening of Okah’s trial said Okah was a “key figure in the Niger Delta struggle and the militants had a lot of respect for him”.
Okah denied involvement in the attacks and also denies being the leader of the group.
The Presiding Judge Neels Claassen, says Mr. Okah, who was accused of leading the militant mend group in nigeria’s oil-producing niger delta, was found guilty on 13 counts ranging from conspiracy to commit terrorism to detonating explosives.
Reeling out a 91 page judgment, Judge Classen found Okah guilty of the March 15th 2010 bombing of the Government House in Delta state which left eight persons dead, as well as the October the 1st Independence Day bombing in Abuja which left 12 dead and 17 injured.