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Nigerian oil delta militant guilty of terrorism

By Sapa | Jan 21, 2013 | COMMENTS [ 10 ]

The High Court in Johannesburg has found Henry Okah guilty of masterminding two car bombings in Abuja, Nigeria

Handing down judgment, Judge Neels Claassen said the State had proved Okah’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. He said Okah’s failure to testify meant evidence against him remained uncontested.

Twelve people were killed and 36 injured in the car bombs on October 1, 2010, the anniversary of Nigeria’s independence.

Okah was arrested in Johannesburg the next day.

He apparently leads the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, which claimed responsibility for the blasts.

He was found guilty on Monday of engaging in terrorist activities, conspiracy to engage in terrorist activity, and delivering, placing, and detonating an explosive device.

South Africa has tried him as part of its international obligation, as the Nigerian authorities had not applied for his extradition, according to the prosecution.

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, before they 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 is expected on January 31.

MEND, or the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, carried out numerous attacks on oilfields and pipelines across the swampy region, which is home to Africa’s biggest oil and gas industry, until a government amnesty in 2009.

At its peak, the insecurity was costing the OPEC member nation and Africa’s biggest oil producer $1 billion a month in lost revenues, according to the central bank.

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COMMENTS [ 10 ]

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Why am I constantly been blocked...Sowetan? Why?

Jan 21, 2013 1:7 | 0 replies

how possible, he was suppose to be deported and stand trial in his country, now he will serve his sentence here in a single cell with all the goodies while he was suppose to be in Nigeria, trust me , he will be released on medical parole before the next two years and start attending ANC gatherings openly.

I smell an ANC rat here.

Jan 21, 2013 6:4 | 0 replies

The man could be a twin brother of Cyril Ramaphosa . Do I smell a connection here? Why did he run to South Africa in the first place? Where did he sleep? At Nkandlaville or at Ramaphosa's home?

Jan 21, 2013 3:34 | 0 replies

Send him to Nigeria gore ba mo kgaole mogolo.

Jan 21, 2013 3:31 | 0 replies

why wasn't he deported to Nigeria to stand trial when is Nigeria South Africa deport this bozo back to naija and stop acting as though you are a moral compass for other African countries ?

Jan 21, 2013 2:41 | 0 replies

These rotten nigerians should be sent back, they even have the guts to protest in SA while they know the kind of crime they are sawing in our country these drug dealers.

Jan 21, 2013 2:36 | 0 replies

How can we put on trial a foreign national for a crime committed in a different country? This has nothing to do with South Africa. They should have just had a hearing and stuck him on the next plane out of the country.

Jan 21, 2013 2:31 | 0 replies

let him have one more day i court and then arrest all his friends who come to court to support him send all of them back to Naija.

Jan 21, 2013 2:25 | 0 replies

He should have been tried in NlGERlA...not here! It's a total waste of South African resources to prosecute some NlGERlANfor a CRlME committed in NlGERlA.

Jan 21, 2013 1:9 | 0 replies

Send him to Kiri-Kiri prison back to his country to serve his term. He won't get a chance to eat Samolina and bitter-leaf soup.

Jan 21, 2013 10:37 | 0 replies