[BREAKING] Independence Day bombing: Court jails Charles Okah, co-conspirator Nwabueze for life

The Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday sentenced Charles Okah and his co-defendant, Obi Nwabueze, to life imprisonment for masterminding the bomb blasts which occurred in Abuja on October 1, 2010 and, earlier in Warri, Delta State, on March 15 of the same year.

The two convicts were said to have planned the attacks with Charles’ elder brother, Mr. Henry Okah, the leader of the defunct Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta, who had been convicted of the same offences and sentenced to 24 years’ imprisonment by a South African court in 2013.

Justice Gabriel Kolawole, delivering judgment in the case which commenced on December 7, 2010, when the convicts took their pleas, ruled that the prosecution, proved the charges preferred against Charles and Nwabueze beyond reasonable doubt.

The two men were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment as prescribed Sections 15(1) and (2) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, 2004, under which they were charged.

Okah and Nwabueze, alongside Edmund Ebiware and Tiemkemfa Francis-Osvwo (aka General Gbokos) were first arraigned before the court on December 7, 2010 in connection with with the 2010 Independence Day and Warri bomb blasts.

Francis-Osvwo died later in detention, while Ebiware, who had his trial conducted separately, had been convicted on January 25, 2013 for the same set of offences and currently serving a life sentence.

At least 12 persons were said to have died, with many others injured and property, including cars burnt in the incident which occurred near Eagles Square in Abuja, venue of the Independence Day celebration, which was being presided over by the then President Goodluck Jonathan.
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