He’ll ‘smell rod’ for long: South African courts jails MEND leader Henry Okah for 24 years

Posted by News Express | 26 March 2013 | 4,491 times

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Nigeria’s militant leader Henry Okah has been handed a 24-year jail sentence by the South Gauteng High Court which sat in Johannesburg today.

“Effectively, the accused (Okah) is therefore sentenced to 24 years imprisonment,” said Judge Neels Claassen, according to reports from South Africa.

News Express recalls that Okah was last January 21 found guilty on 13 counts of terrorism, including engaging in terrorist activities, conspiracy to engage in terrorist activities, and delivering, placing, and detonating an explosive device.

Okah was charged in connection with two car bombs in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, in which 12 people were killed and 36 injured on 1 October 2010, the anniversary of the country’s independence.

The second bombing took place in Warri on 15 March 2010 at a post amnesty dialogue meeting. One person was killed and 11 seriously injured.

Reports said Claassen sentenced Okah to 12 years imprisonment for each of the bombings and 13 years for the threats made to the South African government after his arrest in October 2010.

The 13 years will run concurrently with the 24 years.

Last January, during judgment Claassen said the State had proved Okah’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and his failure to testify meant the evidence against him remained uncontested.

Okah, who led the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), denies any involvement in the terrorist acts, claiming the charges against him were politically motivated.

•Photo: Henry Okah.

Source: News Express

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