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Independence Day Bombings: I'm Ready For Trial, Says Okah

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SAN FRANCISCO, February 19, (THEWILL) – After several months of delay because of his health challenges, the alleged mastermind of the October 1, 2010 Independence Day bombings, Charles Okah, Thursday told a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja that he was physically and mentally ready to face his trial.

He disclosed that his health conditions had improved following the improved co‎ndition at the Kuje Prisons in Abuja where he is being detained.

“Our condition at Kuje Prisons has improved through the intervention of the International Red Cross Society and the Bristish Council. I am now medically, psychologically and physically ready for the trial”, Okah told the court.

The suspect however said he had suffered gross violation of his fundamental human rights since four years ago that the case was instituted, expressing confidence in the trial judge's ability to dispense justice in the matter.

When the hearing resumed on Thursday, the prosecution counsel, Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN), told the court that the matter was adjourned in order to enable the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria to put a legal representation for Okah, following the withdrawal of Mr. Festus Keyamo who had been representing Okah since the suit was instituted.

The counsel from the Legal Aid Council, Mr. S. A. Ahulah, however pleaded with the court for more time to procure the record of proceedings

and other necessary processes to enable him prepare for the trial.

He said he was only standing for the council as the case file was yet to be assigned to a lawyer, and therefore sought for a short date to enable them go through the file, a request Izinyon did not oppose.

The court had ordered the Federal Government to provide a defence lawyer for Okah, who is facing terrorism charges before the court.

Charles, who is a brother to a former leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Henry Okah, is being tried

alongside Obi Nwabueze for the October 1, 2010 multiple bomb blasts near the Eagle Square in Abuja.

Henry had been tried and is already serving jail terms in South Africa for the attack in which about 12 persons were said to have died.

Charles and his co-accused, Obi Nwabueze, had been without a counsel since they dispense of Keyamo's services last October.