Federal Government on Wednesday commended South Africa for sentencing a former leader of the Movement for Emancipation of the Niger Delta, Mr. Henry Okah, to 24 years in prison.
Okah was jailed by a South African court sitting in Johannesburg for setting off two bombs in Abuja on October 1, 2010 and Warri, Delta State on March 15, 2010.
He was also sentenced for threatening the South African government after his arrest.
The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed (SAN), Mr. Mohammed Adoke (SAN), in an SMS to our correspondent, lauded South Africa for cooperating with Nigeria in the fight against terrorism.
According to him, the sentence is a welcome development in the fight against terrorists.
Adoke said South Africa had not allowed its territory to be used by terrorists.
He stated, “The sentence is welcome development in the fight against terrorism and terrorists.
“We commend South African government for cooperating with Nigeria in her fight against terrorism and in not allowing South Africa to be used as a breeding ground for terrorists.
“The judgment has indeed sent the right signal to the terrorists that hard times await them in their nefarious criminal activities.”
Okah was arrested in Johannesburg on Saturday, October 2, 2010 following 2010 bomb blasts near Eagles Square, Abuja.
The October 2010 Abuja attacks involved two car bombings. They were carried out against crowds celebrating the 50th anniversary (golden jubilee) of Nigeria’s independence in the capital city of Abuja on the morning of October 1, 2010. The attacks left 12 dead and 17 injured.
Ebuware, Charles Okah (Henry’s brother); Obi Nwabueze and Tiemkemta Osuvwo, were arraigned before a Federal High Court, Abuja over the October 1 bombing.
Ebuware later opted for a separate trial.
Osuvwo died in Kuje Prison on March 12, 2012, while the trial of Charles Okah and Nwabueze is still going on.
On January 24, 2013, a Federal High Court Abuja sentenced Ebuware to life imprisonment over the October 1, 2010.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the convict would upon good conduct enjoy a parole subject to the approval of the president after serving 32 years.
The State Security Service had also linked Henry Okah to the March 15, 2010 bombings in Warri, Delta State.
Assistant Director of Public Relations for the service, Marilyn Ogar, had said Okah, who was standing trial in South Africa as a suspect in the twin car bombings in Abuja on October 1, used the same people to orchestrate the two acts.
The March bombing disrupted the post amnesty conference organised by Vanguard Media Limited, publishers of Vanguard newspapers in Warri, killing one person.