Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.

 

Okah 'planner, funder' of car bombs

21 January 2013, 16:01

Related Stories

Johannesburg - Henry Okah was convicted on 13 charges of terrorist activities by the High Court in Johannesburg on Monday.

"I have come to the conclusion that the State proved beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of the accused," Judge Neels Claassen said when handing down judgment.

"The evidence of all the accomplices that worked with him was not contradicted... I found that [Okah is the] leader, planner, funder, supplier... of car bombs used in Warri in March 2010 and on October 1 2010."

Claassen said Okah's failure to testify meant evidence against him remained uncontested.

Twelve people were killed and 36 injured in the car bombs on 1 October 2010, the anniversary of Nigeria's independence. Okah was arrested in Johannesburg the next day.

He was also found guilty on terrorism charges relating to two explosions in March 2010 in the southern Nigerian city of Warri.

Claassen found no evidence that Okah did not head the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, which claimed responsibility for the blasts.

He was found guilty of engaging in terrorist activities, conspiracy to engage in terrorist activity, and delivering, placing, and detonating an explosive device.

About 34 witnesses were called during the trial.

Great results


Okah denied any involvement in the blasts and said the charges against him were politically motivated.

South Africa tried him as part of its international obligation, as the Nigerian authorities had not applied for his extradition, according to the prosecution.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Louw said the State had "a watertight case against Okah".

The case proved great results could be achieved if law enforcement agencies worked together, Louw said.

State prosecutor Shaun Abrahams said justice had been done. The ruling showed South African and foreign law enforcement agencies could work together.

"There is no safe haven in South Africa."

Abrahams said legislation provided for a minimum sentence of life imprisonment for Okah's crimes.

After the guilty finding, Okah was taken to the court holding cells under heavy police guard.

When his wife became emotional, a friend comforted her. They then left the courtroom.

About 10 police officers were in the court, with another four outside while the case was being heard. The main road in front of the court was also closed.

Sentencing procedures were expected to start on 31 January.

- SAPA

NEXT ON NEWS24 NIGERIAX

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...

Submitted by
OLANIYI ODINA
The tragedy of the black man

Members of the black nationhood are very funny people with specialty in compromising everything they touch or learn, writes Olaniyi Odina. Read more...

Submitted by
Ayomide Ayodele
Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a cata...

Long live the dynasty of Bola Ahmed Tinubu and your reign in Nigeria political landscape, writes Ayeni Ola Socrates. Read more...

Submitted by
Kassim Kolawole Yahaya
Goje and the Gombe turmoil

I believe that Former Governor Danjuma Goje and the present Senator in the hallowed chamber were the causes of the party wrangling in the State. Read more...