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
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Williams Albert
Change has come to stay!

Fellow Nigerians rejoice and be glad for the change we have been yearning for has come, this change will ensure light and substantial progress. But first, let me be ethical by saying thank you for your votes which you all casted for the 'General'. Read more...

Submitted by
Magnus G. Oku
Annual One Nigeria Festival

Preparations for the annual One Nigeria Festival commenced yesterday At Abuja as Stakeholders and committee members started plans ahead of the massive October event. Read more...

Submitted by
Justice Nwafor
President Jonathan bids Nigerians...

President Goodluck Jonathan, in an emotion laden voice bid farewell to Nigerians and thanked them for their support during His six year stay in office. Read more...

Submitted by
Peregrino Brimah
Worst miilitary in Africa respond...

The only thing this army is good at is lying and killing sheikh Zakzaky’s innocent sons as they peacefully parade; raiding newspaper stands and burning BRT buses. Read more...

Submitted by
Peregrino Brimah
58% of Igbos voted for Buhari - P...

We conducted a post-election survey to determine the prevailing determinants in the recently concluded March 28th presidential elections. Read more...

Submitted by
Samuel Ufot Ekekere
Life's lethal pencils

In spite of the downgrading use of pencils, it pokes its head towards human life to share salient points that can influence how we lead our lives. Read more...