2010 Abuja Bombing: Court Sets Judgment In Okah’s Trial To March 7th
A Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed March 7 this year for judgment in the over seven-year-old trial of Charles Okah and Obi Nwabueze.
Okah and Nwabueze are being tried for their alleged complicity in the October 1, 2010, bomb incident at Eagle Square, Abuja, in which about 12 people died and many others were injured.
Justice Gabriel Kolawole chose March 7 for judgment after parties adopted their final written addresses yesterday.
Adopting his address Wednesday, Okah’s lawyer, Emeka Okoroafor argued among others, that the prosecution was unable to lead sufficient evidence to warrant his client’s conviction.
He faulted the evidence led by the prosecution and insisted that it failed to link his client with the alleged offense.
Okoroafor prayed the court to discharge and acquit his client.
Lawyer to Nwanbueze, Oghenevo Otemo argued in a similar vein. He contended that the prosecution did not place anything before the court to warrant his client’s conviction.
Otemo accused the prosecution of concealing some relevant materials from the court.
He said his client made different extra-judicial statements voluntarily and that one of such statements was made at the headquarters of the Department of State Services (DSS) on October 18, 2010.
Otemo claimed that the prosecution refused to tender the statement his client made at the DSS headquarters before the court.
The prosecution’s alleged refusal to tender the statement, Otemo argued, amounted to concealment of evidence, which according to him, is against the law.
He urged the court to hold that the statement, which the prosecution allegedly refused to tender, is that which is favorable to the defendant.
Otemo prayed the court to set Nwabueze free.
In a counter-argument, prosecution lawyer, Alex Iziyon (SAN) urged the court to hold that the prosecution has proved its case against the defendants.
He said evidence led by the prosecution conveniently reflected the involvement of the defendants in events leading to the October 1, 2010, bomb incident.
Izinyon, who dwelt extensively on the case against Okah, described him as a schemer and the facilitator of the act of terrorism.
“The first defendant is head, neck, and toe deep in the act of terrorism,” Izinyon said.
He said the prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt that the defendants were responsible for the 2010 Independence Day multiple bomb blasts in Abuja, which claimed several lives and left several others injured.
Iziyon urged the court to convict the defendants as charged and sentence them accordingly.
Earlier, Justice Kolawole over-ruled the defendants’ objection to the prosecution’s application dated January 29, 2018, for the court’s permission to regularise some of the exhibits it tendered.
The judge, who faulted the defense’s argument against the application, allowed the prosecution to regularise the document on being satisfied that it has paid the necessary penalties.
Okah, Nwabueze, Edmund Ebiware and Tiemkemfa Francis-Osvwo (aka General Gbokos) were initially arraigned before the court on December 7, 2010, in relation to the alleged offense.
Francis-Osvwo later died in prison custody, while Ebiware, who had his trial conducted separately, is serving life sentence upon his conviction in 2013, leaving Okah and Nwabueze to jointly stand trial on a charge marked FHC/ABJ/CR/186/2010.