2010 Abuja Independence Day Bombing: Okah Closes Defence

Charles Okah, the alleged mastermind of the October 1, 2010 Abuja bombing, Wednesday, called his last witness in his trial of alleged terrorist activities.
Okah closed his defence after presenting six witnesses.
Okah and Nwabueze Obi have been on trial since 2010 when they were arrested for their alleged role in the blast that killed 12 people and injured 17.
The Independence Day attacks, were said to have been carried out by two cars which rammed into crowds celebrating the 50th anniversary, golden jubilee, of Nigeria’s independence.
President Goodluck Jonathan who was present at the Eagle Square was said to be the target of the attsck
The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) had issued a warning less than an hour before the first bomb stating the location.
Okah and Nwabueze were thus arrested and charged with terrorism and treasonable felony by the Department of Security Service.
Okah’s elder brother, Henry, was also accused of having a link to the blast but he escaped to South Africa, where he was arrested, charged and convicted for terrorism. He is currently in South African jail serving a life sentence.
On June 1, this year Justice Gabriel Kolawole, the trial Judge, struck out the treasonable felony charge against the defendants, while upholding charge of terrorism.
Delivering ruling on a no-case-submission filed by the defendants, Justice Kolawole held that the prosecution counsel, Alex Iziyon had made out a prima facie case linking Okah and Nwabueze with the alleged terrorism.
In dismissing the submissions made by the defence counsel, Emeka Okoroafor and Oghenovo Otemu, counsel to Nwabueze respectively, the court said, “the prosecution has made out prima facie case through testimonies of witnesses.
The Judge said the witnesses had linked the defendants with the charge of terrorism and this requires them to offer explanation.
The court further held, contrary to the submissions of the defendants, that the evidence given by the 17 witnesses called by the prosecution has not been discredited nor fractured to warrant upholding the no-case-submission.
“At this stage of proceeding, court is not required to add probative value to the exhibits or form opinion on evidence adduced by witnesses.
“It is my view, that the testimonies of the witnesses have adduced prima facie case to warrant the 1st and 2nd defendants to enter defence.
“The no case submissions made by the defendants are not well founded; defendants are required to enter defence based on the testimonies of the 17 prosecution witnesses,” the court held.
The court, however, dismissed treasonable felony charge against the defendants.
The Judge said the prosecution failed to prove its case of treasonable offences against the defendants.
He said the evidence did not prove that the then President, Goodluck Jonathan, who was at the Eagle Square at the time of the explosion was intimidated by the attack.
He had ordered the defendants to open defence on the terrorism charge.
After presenting their last witness, Wednesday, counsel to the second defendant, informed the court that the defendants had closed their case.
The court subsequently adjourned the matter till January 24 for counsel to submit their written addresses before final determination.

Author: News Editor

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