Justice Gabriel Kolawole of a Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday fixed March 7 to decide the fate of Charles Okah the alleged mastermind of the October 1, 2010 Independence Day bomb blast at Eagle Square, Abuja.
Okah and his co-defendant are being prosecuted by the Federal Government over their alleged involvement in the blast that claimed 12 lives leaving many others injured.
Justice Kolawole fixed the date to deliver the judgment in the matter, which commenced in 2010, after parties adopted their written addresses.
Counsel representing Okah, Emeka Okoroafor, in his address filed on January 16, 2018, urged the court to discharge and acquit Okah, on the ground that the prosecution has failed to link him with the alleged offence.
In his own submissions, Oghenevo Otemu, representing the second defendant, Obi Nwabueze, said the prosecution did not put anything before the court to warrant his client to have been put through such a gruesome trial.
While urging the court to set Nwanbueze free, Otemu said his client made several statements and that he made a voluntarily statement which was the one he made at the headquarters of the Department of State Services (DSS) on October 2010, which the prosecution refused to place before the court. He said others were made under duress.
This, he said amounted to concealment of evidence, which he pointed out is against the law and urged the court to hold that the document is favourable to the defendant, which was why the prosecution refused to tender it before the court.
On the evidence of a prosecution witness, Otemu said:”They brought PW 9 to give evidence that the second defendant brought Madza car to Abuja for the blast and left Abuja next day. The witness said he was not the only person who saw the second defendant but Vivien Nwabueze, sister to second defendant also saw him. This is only the second person who would have given guinue evidence, but said no it was not true. This created doubt.
“All prosecution witnesses contradicted themselves, some even forget they travelled abroad or had cases in Jos because they were prepared before hand to lie against the second defendant.
“The contradictions should be resolved in favour of my client,” Otemu submitted.
However, Izinyon countered their submission, saying the prosecution has proved its case against Okah on count one and eight and others.
“He should be convicted as charged and sentenced accordingly,” he held.
“The first defendant is a schemer and facilitator of act of terrorism. He is neck, head, toe deep in the matter. His evidence is riddled with material contradictions”
Izinyon asserted that the prosecution was also able to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt on count one, five, six and seven against the second defendant.
“This noble court is called upon to convict the second defendant, his case is narrow because of his confessional statements that were admitted in evidence after trial-within-trial. The statements are direct, positive and conveyed the element of offence the second defendant is charged with, ” he said
After listening to their submissions, the court adjourned till March 7 for judgment.