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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Charles Okah slumps in court, rushed to hospital

ABUJA — There was a mild drama at the Federal High Court in Abuja, Tuesday, when Charles Okah, who was alleged to have masterminded several acts of terrorist activities across the nation, slumped in the middle of court  proceedings and feigned death.
Charles who is the younger brother to the embattled ex-leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, Henry Okah, is facing trial alongside three others accused of committing acts of terrorism and other treasonable offences against the Federal Republic of Nigeria at different times and various places.
Barely few minutes after hearing resumed, yesterday, on one of the criminal charges filed against them by the government, the trial Judge in the matter, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, observed that Okah looked sick and ordered the court clerks to provide a chair for him to sit in the dock, but before the chair was brought, he fell flat on his face and stretched to full length.

His collapse occasioned a little pandemonium in the court room as lawyers and his fellow accused persons rushed to resuscitate him.
Consequently, Justice Kolawole stood down the matter to enable the prison medical team, which was immediately sent for, to come to his rescue.
Justice Kolawole, later in his chamber, ordered that he should be moved to the National Hospital for adequate medical attention, adding, however, that he must be kept under close surveillance of operatives of the State Security Service ,SSS.
The subsisting case against them was equally adjourned till January 27, for continuation of trial.
It would be recalled that the younger Okah, Obi Nwabueze, Edmund Ebiware, and Tiemkemfa Francis Osvwo, a.k.a General Gbokos, are answering to a 1_count charge with 22_particulars of overt acts of treason, as well as another 8_count criminal charge relating to the October 1 twin bomb blasts that killed about 12 persons in Abuja whilst Nigeria celebrated its independence day.
They were also accused of conspiring with Henry Okah and one Emmanuel Allison to make a direct attempt to endanger the life of President Jonathan by seeking to drive two motor vehicles wired with time_regulated explosive devices to the Eagle Square where the Independence celebration was taking place.
FG further alleged that the accused persons between January 2 and March 15, 2010, within Port_Harcourt Rivers State and diverse places, conspired with Henry Okah, Chima Orlu, at large, and persons unknown, to make a direct attempt to endanger the lives of the Governor of Delta state, Edo state and Imo state by seeking to drive two motors vehicles wired with time regulated explosive devices into government house annex, Warri, Delta State, the venue of the Vanguard Post Amnesty Dialogue, where the said governors were in attendance, in order to cause a bomb blast for the purpose of levying war against the state.
It was said that a man lost his life as a result of that explosion.
Charles was specifically alleged among other offences, to have engaged the services of one Bassey Umoren, a welder, and paid him N50, 000, to construct hidden compartments into four motor cars, two of which were subsequently loaded with explosive devices at Port_Harcourt by Obi Nwabueze and Chima Orlu, at large, and positioned on 1st October at 0830 hours near the venue of the anniversary for the purpose of levying war against the state.
He was also accused of sending two consignments of army camouflage torches, bullet proof vests and boots to Allison for onward transmission to one Segun Llori alias Stone face, at large, for use by terrorists recruited by Henry Okah in the creeks of Niger Delta.

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