Update: Terrorism Charges: Court Asks Charles Okah to Open Defence

A Federal High Court, on Thursday in Abuja, dismissed the application of no-case-submission filed by Charles Okah and Nwabueze Obi, to discharge them on terrorism charges brought against them by the Federal Government.
The court, however, discharged the defendants on treasonable felony charges.
Charles who is a younger brother to ex-leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Henry Okah, who is serving life sentence in South Africa jail, was said to have conspired with other Niger Delta militants to kill President Goodluck Jonathan while Nigeria celebrated its 50th independence anniversary in Abuja.
Charles Okah was charged, apart from Obi Nwabueze‎, with the court having earlier sentenced their co-accused, Edmund Ebiware, to a life imprisonment, while the fourth defendant, Osvwo Tekemfa Francis, a.k.a ‘General-Gbokos’, died in prison
They were said to have been responsible for the bomb explosion that resulted to the death of 12 persons at the Eagle Square in Abuja, in 2010. ‎
The accused persons were said to have also superintended over varying terrorist activities that hitherto took place within the oil rich Niger Delta region of the country, including the bomb explosion that rocked a post amnesty programme that was organised by Vanguard Newspaper in Warri, Delta State.
Apart from a one-count charge with 22-particulars of overt acts of treason instituted against them, Federal Government alleged that they conspired with Henry Okah and one Emmanuel Allison to make a direct attempt to endanger the life of President Jonathan by seeking to drive two motor vehicles wired with time-regulated explosive devices to the Eagle Square where the Independence celebration was taking place.
Federal Government also alleged that the accused persons between January 2 and March 15, 2010, within Port-Harcourt Rivers State and diverse places, conspired with Henry Okah, Chima Orlu, at large, and persons unknown, to make a direct attempt to endanger the lives of the Governor of Delta, Edo,and Imo States respectively, by seeking to drive two motors vehicles wired with time regulated explosive devices into government house annex, Warri, Delta State, the venue of the Vanguard Post Amnesty Dialogue, where the said Governors were in attendance, in order to cause a bomb blast for the purpose of levying war against the state.
However, the trial Judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, in dismissing the no case submission, Thursday, said the defendants have not shown enough reasons why they should not stand trial.
“By my assessment of the evidence I am unable to reach the decision that the evidence of the prosecution has been badly battered that it cannot stand against the defendants to face trial.
“It is my passionate view that through the evidence of witnesses, the prosecution has induced enough evidence to establish primie facie case against the defendants.
“In respect of no case submission has not ground and thereby dismissed,” the Judge held.
The court subsequently fixed July 5 and 6 for beginning of trial.

Author: News Editor

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