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Independence Day bombing: South Africa court finds Henry Okah guilty

By The Citizen
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A SOUTH African court has found Nigerian rebel leader Henry Okah guilty of masterminding two car bombings in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja on the Independence Day in 2010.

That incident which occurred at the sideline of the Eagle Square venue of Nigeria's 5oth Independence anniversary claimed 12 lives..

Judge Neels Claassen said on Monday that Okah’s decision not to testify left evidence against him uncontested and the prosecution had successfully proved he was involved in terrorist activities.

Okah was arrested in South Africa after the attacks which targeted crowds celebrating Nigeria’s 50th year of independence from Britain.

The Nigerian Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has distanced itself from Okah since the bombings, though his lawyers have denied he was involved.

Okah ended up in South Africa after accepting an amnesty deal offered by the Nigerian government to MEND.

The rebel group said it was defending the impoverished people of the Niger Delta who see little profit from the vast oil wealth of the region.

It is alleged Okah continued to be involved in terrorist activity in Nigeria from his new base.

South Africa said it did not receive a formal extradition request from Nigeria and put Okah on trial domestically in accordance with local laws.

Sentencing is expected at the end of the month, according to the SAPA news agency.