Abuja — He's alive: the message comes from prison officials after the alleged mastermind of a 2010 bomb attack at Independence Day celebrations tried to kill himself at a court hearing, followed by rumors he had died in jail.
Spokesman Enobore O. Francis said Wednesday night that Charles Okah "is not dead but alive."
Okah tried to throw himself from a third-floor court room Tuesday, saying his life was not worth living after protracted court proceedings.
Okah has denied organizing twin car bombings that killed 12 people at the Oct. 10, 2010, celebrations of Nigeria's 50th anniversary of independence, in Abuja.
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The attack was claimed by militants who want Nigeria's southern Delta to get more from revenues of oil that has polluted the region, throwing hundreds of thousands of farmers and fishermen out of work.
"I have been incarcerated for about five years now. ... My children would grow up without feeling the warmth of their father and I am tired of this endless trial. ... Is it not better to die?" Okah told the court before trying to smash a chair through the window of the third-floor courtroom. He was restrained.
Okah's brother, Henry, was convicted in South Africa in 2013 of the 2010 bombing and other terrorism acts and sentenced to 24 years' imprisonment.