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2010 Independence Day blast: Okah closes case

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By Vivian Okejeme

Abuja

Charles Okah, who is facing trial before the Federal High Court over the October 1, 2010, bomb blast, yesterday closed his defence after calling six witnesses.
Okah is a younger brother to Henry Okah, leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND).
His elder brother was convicted in South Africa for terrorism related Offences.
The defendant alongside Nwabueze Obi is being prosecuted by the federal government, through the State Security Services (SSS).
The defendants were also accused of treasonable Offences, because the said attack was targeted at the former President Goodluck Jonathan who was present at the Eagle Square for the Independence Day celebrations in 2010.
The terrorism charge was, however, struck out by Justice Gabriel Kolawole who ruled that the prosecution failed to prove its case of treason against the defendants.
The court, however, agreed with the submission of the prosecution that Okah and his co-defendant were linked to funds used for the purpose of terrorism.
When the prosecution closed its case in January, the defendant applied for a no-brainer case submission.
On June 1, the court said both Okah and Nwabueze had case to answer with respect to the incident.
Justice Kolawole dismissed the defendants’ no-case submission which they had filed after the prosecution called its 17 witnesses and tendered documentary exhibits as evidence to prove its case.
The judge held that contrary to the contention of the defendants, the prosecution led by Izinyon, had established a prima facie case against Okah and Nwabueze, warranting them to offer explanations in respect of the charges preferred against them.
Justice Kolawole ruled, “The prosecution has made out prima facie case through testimonies of witnesses which linked the defendants with the charges. It requires them to offer explanations.”
When the came up yesterday, counsel to the second defendant, O. O. Etim, informed the court that the defence had decided to close its case after presenting all their witnesses.
Subsequently, the court adjourned the matter till January 24, for counsel to submit their written addresses before final determination of the matter.


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