Charles Okah to know fate on “no-case-submission” on May 16

The Federal High Court, on Monday in Abuja fixed May 16 to rule on the application for no-case-submission filed by Charles Okah and Nwabueze Obi, to dispel terrorism charges brought against them.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the applicants were alleged to be the masterminds of the 2010 Independence Day bombing in Abuja.

Justice Gabriel Kolawole fixed the date to rule on the motion after counsel to parties had canvassed their arguments. Okah, a younger brother of Henry Okah, the leader of the Movement for the Emancipation Niger Delta, (MEND) and others standing the trial are expected to open their defence.

The applicants argued that the charges and the evidence presented by the prosecution so far had not established prima facie case against them. At the resumed hearing, counsel to Okah, Mr Emeka Okafor, told the court of his client’s motion of no-case-submission.

“It is our final submission that Okah does not need to go through rigorous trial as the prosecutor has no evidence to prove any ingredient of offence he is charged with,” he said.

Mr Oghenovo Otemu, counsel to Nwabueze, aligned himself with the submission of counsel to Okah. Otemu said the prosecution had failed to link the second defendant with the alleged offence he was charged with.

He said prosecution’s inability to link the second defendant with offences was fatal to the prosecution of his client, urging the court to uphold the no case submission and dismiss the charges against him.

On his part, Dr Alex Iziyon (SAN), the prosecuting counsel asked the court to dismiss the motion, saying the prosecution had sufficiently linked the 2010 bombing to the applicants. Iziyon pleaded with court to order the applicants to open their defence, adding that the no-case-submission was aimed at wasting the time of the court.

The prosecuting counsel said the essential element of evidence required in the trial of the applicants had been established. He said it was established that the applicant had links with the vehicles and explosive materials used on Independence Day in Abuja.

“One of the applicants confessed he drove the vehicle into Abuja and the other linked with the money used in purchasing the vehicle,’’ he said. The prosecution therefore, urged the court to dismiss the no case submission and ask the defendants to enter their defence.

 

Source: The Guardian

2010 Independence Day bombing mastermind Charles Okah stopped from attempted suicide in court

Security operatives attached to Justice Gabriel Kolawole at the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday prevented Charles Okah, the alleged mastermind of the 2010 Independence Day bombing from committing suicide in court.

Okah, who is standing trial on charges of terrorism, had sought the permission of the judge to speak on what he termed “endless trial”, as his counsel was absent in court.

The judge granted the oral application and permitted Okah to speak for about five minutes.

Okah said “I have been incarcerated for about five years now and I have a family to cater for.

“My children would grow up without feeling the warmth of their father and I am tired of this endless trial.

“I really do not know what I have done to be treated this way.

“Is it not better to die than to wait and be messed up this way?” he asked.

Immediately after Okah ended his speech, he grabbed a chair in the court and quickly moved toward a window on third floor of the five-storey building and attempted to jump down.

He was immediately pulled back by security operatives, lawyers and other litigants from embarking on the action.

Consequently, Kolawole adjourned the case to Oct. 20 for continuation of trial.

Others charged in the case are Obi Nwabueze and Edmund Ebuware.

The fourth accused, Tiemkemfa Osuvwo, died in Kuje prison, while Ebuwari has been jailed for life as his case was separately decided.

However, Okah and Nwabueze have been facing long trial as a result of the introduction of numerous injunctions from both the prosecution and defence teams.

(NAN)