Share this:

Like this:

Like Loading...
" />
Published On: Thu, Mar 8th, 2018

Oct 1st bombing: Charles Okah, Nwabueze jailed for life

Share This
Tags

By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja

Eight years after the October 1st bomb blast at the Eagle’s Square, in Abuja, Justice Gabriel Kolawale of the Federal High Court Abuja, has sentenced the bombers, Charles Okah and Obi Nwabueze to life imprisonment.
The court ordered they shall forfeit to the federal government all the items of military wears recovered from them.
Delivering his judgement which lasted for 6 hours 45 minutes, the trial judge held that the prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt as presented by section 15(1) of EFCC act and evidence act.
He ruled that the defendants were guilty of 5 out of 8counts preferred against them by the federal government.
Okah, alongside Obi Nwabueze, were prosecuted in the amended 8-count charge marked FHC/ABJ/CR/186/2010, following a bomb blast that disrupted Nigeria’s Independence Day activities at the Eagle Square in Abuja attended by former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The SSS accused Mr. Okah of being behind the bomb blast, which killed over a dozen people and wounded many.
Henry Okah, his elder brother, had been separately tried and convicted, and now in prison in South Africa.
At the last adjourned date, the prosecution Counsel, Alex Izinyon SAN, informed the court that the prosecution adopted and relied on the addresses filed on 31January, 2018 in respect of the first defendant.
Izinyon prayed the court to hold that prosecution had proved his case on count 1 and 8 of the amended charge dated 10 January, 2011.
“The first defendant is a schemer, facilitator of the act of terrorism which had been proved beyond reasonable doubt before your lordship.”
Further in his submissions, Izinyon draw attention of the court to the exhibit E7 which said the defendant issued N2 million Zenith bank cheque which the second defendant cashed.
According to him, part of the money was used to purchase vehicles bought from PW5 and PW 11 who are the car dealers.
Also, counsel to the Nwabueze, O. O Otemu, adopted his final address, urging the court to hold that the Federal government had failed to prove its case against him, due to contradictory extra judicial statements made by the 2nd defendant.
“My Lord, the PW2 in ‘Trial-within-trial’ gave evidence that the 2nd defendant made voluntary statement on 18th, August 2010, at the headquarters of the SSS.
“This was corroborated by the prosecution witness. My lord, up till now, that statement is not before this court; and the prosecution tactically left it out. This amounts to concealment of evidence Otemu submitted,” he submitted.
Before handing down the sentence, counsel to the first defendant, Emeka Okoroafor, pleaded the court to temper justice with mercy.
He premised his plea on section 313 of ACJA, 2015 stating that the defendant is a first offender and has shown remorse.
He further prayed the court to consider that the defendant has an aged parents and children who depend on him for survival.
“My lord should exercise his discretion in pronouncing the sentence. Section 401 of ACJA makes provision on what the court should bear in mind in sentencing the convicts.”
Counsel to the second defendant, O.O Otemu, in his plea, aligned himself with the submissions of Okoroafor and prayed the court to temper justice with mercy.
The prosecution, Izinyon, urged the court to look at the antecedents of the convict and they don’t deserve mitigated sentence.
“The family of the dead deserves justice to serve as deterrent. I urge the court to provide life sentence as prescribed by law.
Delivering his judgment which lasted for 6 hours 45 minutes, the trial judge held that the prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt as presented by section 15(1) of EFCC act and evidence act.
He ruled that the defendants were guilty of 5 out of 8counts preferred against them by the federal government.
The Judge held that the 2nd defendant (Obi Nwabueze) made himself available as a foot soldier to 1st defendant.
“It is clear that the purpose for which the cars were purchased where to perpetrate an act of terrorism.
“The evidence of the witnesses linked the defendants to the act of Terrorism perpetrated on Oct 1st, 2010.
“It was certain that there was a bomb blast on 15 March, 2010 in Warri, Delta State, which resulted to the death of one Alex Igwe and there was also a bomb blast in Abuja on the October 1st, 2010, during the Independence Day celebration.
“There was no evidence on what the N2million and N 1.2million given to the second defendant by Charles Okah on the instructions of Henry Okah, the 3rd defendant, was used for.
“There were no doubt that the cars were detonated by timers connected by dynamite in the trunk and boots of the cars perpetrated by the first defendant.
“The defendants are hereby found guilty on count 5 out of count 8 preferred against him.
“Therefore, they are convicted to life imprisonment in accordance with Section 15 (1,2) of EFCC act.”

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

%d bloggers like this: