The trial of Charles Okah and Obi Nwabueze over the Oct. 1, 2010 Independence Day bombing near Eagle Square, Abuja ended on Wednesday with life imprisonment for the two suspects.

Justice Gabriel Kolawole handed down the sentence while delivering judgment in the five counts of terrorism charge preferred against the duo by the Federal Government in the trial which began about eight years ago.

The judge said he has no problem delivering the judgment since the prosecution, through the plethora of exhibits tendered and witnesses called, was able to prove its case beyond reasonable doubts.

Charles Okah

Justice Kolawole, found the defendants guilty as charged for being responsible for March 15, 2010, bomb blast which claimed one life in Warri, Delta State and the October 1st, 2010 bomb blast near Eagle Square in Abuja which claimed several lives.

 The judge noted that the second defendant, Obi Nwabueze, particularly made himself available to run illegal errands for Henry Okah who provided N1.2 million used to purchase five fairly used cars deployed for the Warri blast while Charles Okah, provided the sum of N2m used for the purchase of the four cars deployed for the Independence Day blast in Abuja.

The Judge added that since he had earlier handed down a life sentence to Edmund Ebiware, who had initially stood trial with the convicts in 2013, he could not give a lighter sentence to Okah and Nwabueze.

The Judge added that maximum sentence must also be meted out to the defendants to ensure justice for families of those who died or sustained injuries in the bomb blast.

While Counsel to Okah and Nwabueze, Emeka Okoroafor and Oghenovo Otemu  prayed the court to show the convicts mercy, owing to the fact that they were first time offenders,  the prosecuting counsel, Mr Alex Iziyon, (SAN),  asked the court to give the convicts the maximum sentence prescribed by Section 15 (1) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act on which they were tried.

It will be recalled that Okah, Nwabueze, Ebiware and Tiemkemfa Francis-Osvwo (aka General Gbokos) were initially arraigned before the court on Dec. 7, 2010 over alleged involvement in the bomb blast which left about 12 people dead and several others injured.

But Francis-Osvwo later died in prison custody, while Ebiware, who opted for separate trial bagged life imprisonment upon his conviction in 2013.

The elder brother of Charles, Henry Okah had been sentenced the same crime in South Africa, where he is based. 

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