'Secret' Trial Of Okah' Brother, Others Begin; Henry Made 1000+ Calls
San Francisco, Oct 21, (THEWILL) – The Nigerian government today charged Mr. Charles Tombra Okah at an FCT Chief Magistrate Court, Wuse, Zone 6 alongside six other suspects for the Independence Day dual bomb blasts in Abuja that killed more than 10 persons and damaged several vehicles.
Some of the other suspects are Mr. Ernest Wosu; Rapheal Damfebo and Edmund Ebiware.
THEWILL gathered that Chief Magistrate Oyebola Oyewunmi was presiding Chief Magistrate.
Journalists, court staff and defence lawyers were however barred from observing court proceedings by stern looking heavily armed security agents.
Amidst heavy security, a team of top officers of the SSS including Mrs. Marilyn Ogar arrived with the suspects who were brought to court in unmarked cars.
The earlier First Information Report (FIR) brought pursuant to section 177 (1) of Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) serial number 2013/F marked October 8, 2010 and obtained by THEWILL reads: “On or about 2nd September to October 1st, 2010 at Abuja, FCT, Edmond Ebiware, Rapheal Damfebo and Earnest Wosu conspired with one Henry Okah and others now at large to unlawfully prepare, plant and detonate explosives devices stored in motor cars and did carry out the said conspiracy which resulted in the death of 12 persons and destruction of public property at Shehu Shagari way, Maitama, Abuja, FCT and thereby committed the following offences; criminal conspiracy to commit a felony, intimidation and threat to life; voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous means; contrary to sections 97, 397 and 248 (2) of the penal code punishable under the same respective sections of the penal code.
“Further, the accused persons also committed conspiracy to commit a felony, to wit treason, treasonable felony ad terrorism contrary to sections 410 and 412 of the penal code (federal offences) and 15(2) of the EFCC Act, 2004 and punishable under the same sections of the respective penal code and ECFCC Act 2004.”
THEWILL gathered that the suspects may not have been arraigned as the Chief Magistrate was uncomfortable with the secrecy surrounding the trial including the refusal of agents to allow suspects meet their lawyers coupled with the Gestapo attitude of security operatives.
With the development, THEWILL learned that Chief Magistrate Oyebola Oyewunmi adjourned the trial to November 24, 2010 with an order to the SSS to allow the suspects access to their lawyers in fairness and justice.
SSS spokesperson Mrs. Marilyn Ogar declined to answer questions but allowed photo journalists take photographs as suspects were being taken to agency vehicles in hand cuffs.
Meanwhile in Johannesburg South Africa, prosecution lawyer, Shaun Abrahams presented hard evidence today linking MEND leader, Mr. Henry Okah to the bombings as Magistrate Hein Louw had requested.
According to supplementary affidavit signed by the Police Services Officer in charge of the investigation, Noel Graeme Zeeman, Okah’s phone records showed that he had several phone calls and SMS exchanges with wanted suspects currently on the run, Chima Orlu, who he claimed supervised the explosions and Ben Ebere.
Okah made 43 phone calls and 27 text messages to Chima Orlu and made about 1, 100 calls to Ebere from August 07, 2010 to September 29, 2010.
Some of the entries from Okah’s phone records showed SMS’s as follows: September 30, 2010, at 12h 38:11pm; October 1, 2010 at 10h 58:59 am, 13h 13:01am and 13h 29:59pm which the prosecution said was significant.
The affidavit also said two vehicles were purchased in Lagos at the instruction of Okah which were wired up with explosives and detonated.