Jail Henry Okah for Life – State

Convicted Nigerian terrorist Henry Okah has shown no remorse and should get life imprisonment, the High Court in Johannesburg heard on Tuesday, the Citizen reports.

Henry Okah

“The accused has shown no remorse for his actions throughout the entire trial… He is looking for a political resolution and has taken no responsibility for his actions,” prosecutor Shaun Abrahams said.

“There are no mitigating facts that your lordship can take into consideration to impose a lesser sentence… The relevant sentence would be to impose a life sentence and the other sentences to run concurrently.”

Abrahams said Okah was previously granted amnesty by the Nigerian government to play a role in resolving issues in the Niger Delta and to work with the government to bring peace in that region.

“He was given a second bite at the cherry, what did he do? There is no evidence of what positive role the accused played in the Niger Delta,” he said.

“The accused had his second bite at the cherry after he received his amnesty — he can’t in this regard get another chance.”

Abrahams told the court that Okah’s intentions in the bombings were to “obtain maximum casualties”.

On January 21, Okah was found guilty on 13 counts of terrorism, including engaging in terrorist activities, conspiracy to engage in terrorist activities, and delivering, placing, and detonating an explosive device.

The charges related to two car bombs in Abuja, Nigeria, in which 12 people were killed and 36 injured on October 1, 2010, the anniversary of the country’s independence.

The court heard on Tuesday that in the Warri bombings Okah was fully aware of the school in close proximity of the car bombs.

“He was not remotely concerned that hundreds of children could die at his hands,” Abrahams added.

He said the principal of the school had decided to close the school for the day.

Earlier, Okah, dressed in a red checked shirt and tan trousers, entered the court and waved at his friends. He was flanked by 14 police officers.

Nineteen police officers took up position inside the courtroom and at the doors ahead of Judge Neels Claassen’s entrance.

Okah’s wife, Azuka, arrived about 30 minutes into the proceedings.

When Okah saw his wife he sought get her attention and gave her the thumbs up as she smiled at him.

Claassen adjourned proceedings for a tea break and indicated he would hand down sentencing after the break.

During the tea break, Okah and Azuka spent some time talking to each other. Okah was also seen chatting to the police officers inside the court room.

In January, Claassen said in his judgment the State had proved Okah’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and that his failure to testify meant the evidence against him remained uncontested.

He found no evidence that Okah did not head the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, which claimed responsibility for the blasts.

During the trial, Okah denied any involvement in the blasts and said the charges against him were politically motivated.

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