Nigeria Independence Day bombings: Okah fit to stand trial, court rules

Charles Okah

Mr. Okah and Obi Nwabueze were arrested and charged with terrorism following the bombings.

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An Abuja Federal High Court on Monday declared that Charles Okah, suspected mastermind of the October 1, 2010, twin bomb blasts at Eagle Square, Abuja, was fit to stand trial.

Mr. Okah, whose elder brother (Henry) was convicted of same crime in South Africa, and Obi Nwabueze were arrested and charged with terrorism following the bombings.

John Ainetor, Mr. Okah’s counsel, however, brought an application that Mr. Okah was not mentally fit to stand trial. He urged the court to allow a private medical doctor examine him.

The court had earlier ordered that a medical test be conducted on Okah at the National Hospital, Abuja, but Mr. Ainetor insisted on having a private doctor’s report besides it.

The prosecution counsel, Alex Izinyon, had urged the court to dismiss the application, describing it as an abuse of court process.

He argued that it was a ploy to delay the matter, which had yet to make any progress since 2010 when the suit was instituted.

Ruling on the matter, Justice Gabriel Kolawole held that Mr. Ainetor’s application was an abuse of court process and dismissed it.

“The request for a private medical evaluation of the accused person is an abuse of court process. Its aim is to ensure that the trial does not proceed.

“There is no merit in the applicant’s motion on notice and it is hereby dismissed.” he said.

Mr. Kolawole ordered that the accused persons be remanded in Kuje Prisons, Abuja, and be produced in court for accelerated trial.

He adjourned the case to July 8 and 9, and October 7, 8, and 15, for the trial.

(NAN)


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