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Oct 1st bombing: Okah denies knowing MEND

Charles Okah, the alleged mastermind of the October 1, 2010 bombing of Eagle Square, Abuja, has denied knowing the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND).
Okah, a defence witness in his own trial, also denied knowledge of the group as a militant organisation or not.
He said his knowledge of MEND does not go beyond what he reads in the papers about its activities, just like every other Nigerian, adding that he does not know any Jomo Gbomogbomo as the spokesman of MEND.
Under cross-examination by the prosecution counsel, Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN), Okah said, “no, I don’t know MEND.”
He also denied ever knowing and ever giving contract to weld explosives to a car as alleged by one Bassey Umoren, prosecuting witness 3.
“No, never, I only met him for the first in court here. I have not seen him in my house.
“The information about Umoren was given to me by Femi Falana, who was my brother’s lawyer. He said that Bassey is perpetual witness of DSS, Falana gave me the information.”
Okah said he told the DSS that he gave Nwabueze N2million to buy dollars to spend because he wanted to distract them from the money.
According to him, he used the money to pay his child’s school fees in Canada.
The trial judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, adjourned the matter till Nov. 9 for continuation of trial.
Okah, Nwabueze, Edmund Ebiware and Tiemkemfa Francis-Osvwo (aka General Gbokos) were first arraigned before the court on Dec. 7, 2010 over their alleged involvement in the Oct. 1, 2010 blast.
The blast left about 12 people dead and several others injured.
The court had earlier sentenced Edmund Ebiware to life imprisonment, while the fourth defendant, Tekemfa Francis-Osvwo died in prison.
On June 1, the court said both Okah and Nwabueze had case to answer with respect to the incident.
Justice Kolawole dismissed the defendants’ no-case submission which they had filed after the prosecution called its 17 witnesses and tendered documentary exhibits as evidence to prove its case.
The Judge held that contrary to the contention of the defendants, the prosecution led by Izinyon, had established a prima facie case against Okah and Nwabueze, warranting them to offer explanations in respect of the charges preferred against them.
Justice Kolawole ruled, “The prosecution has made out prima facie case through testimonies of witnesses which linked the defendants with the charges. It requires them to offer explanations.”
It will be recalled that Charles Okah’s younger brother, Henry, alleged former leader of MEND, had been prosecuted and convicted in South Africa for the Abuja bomb attack.

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