A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Friday found Edmond Ebiwere, one of the four persons arraigned for the October 1, 2010 bomb attack in Abuja, guilty of terrorism charges. The court also sentenced him to life imprisonment.
Mr. Ebiwere and three others, including Charles Okah, brother to Henry Okah, the alleged mastermind of the 50th Independent Anniversary bomb attack on October 1, 2010 at the Eagle Square Abuja, were being prosecuted for the crime.
Justice Gabriel Kolawole, in a judgement that lasted over three hours, handed Mr. Ebiwere the life sentence after considering testimonies by six prosecution witnesses and Exhibit Six, which validly linked him to the crime committed as he failed to give information to the appropriate authority.
According to Justice Kolawole, Section 40(B) of the Criminal Code Act provides that any person who becomes an accessory to treason or becomes aware of the commission of treason and did not give evidence to the President, a State Governor or a peace officer in order to prevent the commission of the crime, is liable to treason and sentencing to life in prison.
“I concluded that the accused person is adjudged guilty as charged, being aware early in September 2010, that Henry Okah was planning a bomb attack but did not give such information to any of the persons or authority listed in section 40,B of the Criminal Code Act,” he said.
Mr. Kolawale found the accused person guilty of the three-count charge which border on whether he was in contact with Mr. Okah, whether he had prior knowledge of the attack, and whether he reported the threat to the listed authorities contained in section 40,B of the CCA.
Twelve people, including security officers, lost their lives with many injured as a result of the blast, while about 30 vehicles were destroyed beyond recognition.
The alleged mastermind of the attack, Mr. Okah, was recently found guilty of all charges of terrorism by a South African court. He is yet to be sentenced.
While the judgment was being read on Friday, Mr. Ebiwere kept lifting his hands in the form of prayers, muttering ” why me, why me”.
CORRECTION: This post has been updated to reflect the fact that Henry Okah is yet to be sentenced. Initial post suggested he has been sentenced to 50 years in jail. The error is regretted.