Independence Day bombing: Charles Okah continues defence in terrorism charge

Charles Okah, the suspected mastermind of the Independence Day bombing in 2010 has continued his defence in the terrorism case filed against him by the federal government at the Federal High Court, Abuja.

Okah’s son, Boloyebi, appeared before Justice Gabriel Kolawole as witness to explain what he used a certain $13,000 his father gave him to do.

Boloyebi Charles Okah, who is a student of University of Kansas in the United States of America, was led in evidence by the defence counsel, Samuel Zibiri (SAN),

Okah Jnr. told the court that he used the $13,000 his father gave him to pay his tuition fees and housing expenses in America.

According to him, he was arrested by the Department of State Security (DSS) but released after nothing incriminating was linked to him before he processed his Degree admissions overseas and left the country on June 22, 2017.

When cross examined by the prosecuting counsel, Alex Izonyi (SAN), the witness said the $13,000 he received from his father was not enough to meet his needs of $19,470 overseas.

He further told the court that he could only only meet the requirements of his first semester in school.

When asked if his Delta Airline air ticket to America was paid in US Dollar, he said no.

Okah Jnr. said he paid the sum of N278, 000 for the flight ticket in Naira exclusive of the $13, 000 his father, who is in detention in Kuje prison, gave him.

“I paid for my flight ticket of N278, 000 in Naira. It was not from the money my father gave me,” he said.

When asked why he did not tender, before the court, a copy of his admission letter into the University of Kansas which would have indicated his years of admission, his course of study, and the duration of his programme, he could not replied.

He, however, told the court verbally that he was a student of Visual Arts in the university and was expected to complete his three year programme by 2020.

Thereafter, Charles Okah Snr, adopted his own witness statement on oath but he was not cross-examined by the prosecuting counsel.

The defence applied that the court should order the prison personnel to allow the defence has a conference meeting with the defendants along with the witnesses for 15 mins after the court session.

The prosecution, who did not oppose the application, however said it would raise its objections to Charles Okah’s witness statement on a later date because it only received it few minutes before the session commenced.

In a short ruling, Justice Gabriel Kolawole granted the defence request and ordered that the defendants should be allowed access to their counsel for 15 mins outside the courtroom.

He adjourned the matter until October 24, for continuation of hearing.

Charles Okah is the younger brother to ex-leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Henry Okah, who is serving life sentence in South Africa prison.

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