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
Peregrino Brimah
Thousands of Captives: Boko Haram...

Over six hundred women and children have thus-far been freed as the Nigerian army along with hired foreign mercenary fighters and pilots at last bombard Boko Haram camps in Sambisa forest, Borno state. Read more...

Submitted by
Peregrino Brimah
CBN engaging in fraudulent anti-c...

The CBN is engaged in a conspiracy with the banks to defraud Nigerian citizens and is purposefully violating the CBN Act and Nigerian constitution. Read more...

Submitted by
Peregrino Brimah
CBN has decided to limit our free...

The CBN has again decided that we the people must be punished and deprived of all rights to receive and send our hard earned personal little money. Read more...

Submitted by
Joseph Venda
The preparedness of Buhari to lea...

Nigeria’s existence has been plagued by unpreparedness at various times in history. Notwithstanding the cries of Nigerians for sovereignty, its occurrence in 1960 caught us unprepared. Read more...

Submitted by
Ahmed D Salihu
Nigeria pension board

It is quite unfortunate for Nigeria pension board to reluctantly denied the next of kins of the dead police officer who served this country with all there life but nothing to show for it. Read more...

Submitted by
Ifeoma Blessing Godson
God's own state?

The two major political parties in Abia state, PDPand APGA are now in what i term "a do or die affair". Read more...