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How Okah’ll regain freedom

*Court to decide
*Moved to Abuja

By Wahab Abdullahi

DESPITE the amnesty granted leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, Henry Okah by the Federal Government and his acceptance of same, the final order for his freedom lies with the Federal High Court, Jos, which is trying him for treason.

The court at its last hearing on July 3, remanded him in security custody until Friday, July 17, when the case comes up again.

Okah’s lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana told Sunday Vanguard that his client had been moved to Abuja preparatory to his release and following his acceptance of the amnesty offer.

miltants
miltants

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Justice Minister, Mr. Michael Aondoakaa is expected to enter nolle prosequi, that is the state is no longer pursuing the case, at the next hearing.

President Umaru Yar’Adua had asked Mr. Aondoakaa to work out the legal process for Okah’s release with Mr. Falana.

Okah who is said to be ill with kidney problem is due to travel out of the country as early as possible to attend to his health.

It was not immediately known where he would be going for that purpose, but his family is said to be arranging for that, and will bear the cost.

Convincing Okah to accept the amnesty took some time, Sunday Vanguard gathered.

Henry Okah and his wife.
Henry Okah and his wife.

Contrary to expectation, the Minister of Interior, Gen. Godwin Abbe, could not make it to Jos to personally offer him the amnesty.

Instead the lot fell on Okah’s lawyer, Mr. Falana, the Federal Director of Public Prosecutions, DPP, Mr. Salisu Aliyu and one other lawyer, Mr. Wilson Ajuwa from the Federal Ministry of Justice to brief him on the situation on Wednesday.

He was said to have declared that he would not accept the offer if any condition was attached, and only agreed when it was made clear that it was without conditions.

Once the deal was sealed, he was moved to Abuja to await the pronouncement of the Federal High Court, Jos.

Okah was arrested in Luanda, Angola on February 2008 for alleged arms running.

The 45 year old marine engineer was subsequently extradited to Nigeria to face trial.


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Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.