By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
The Federal Government, yesterday, vehemently opposed an application seeking an immediate release of Charles Okah, the younger brother to the embattled leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, Mr Henry Okah, insisting that the nature of offences he committed entailed that he remains in custody of the State Security Service, SSS.

The opposition came on a day Charles Okah, alongside three other persons accused of committing acts of terrorism and various treasonable offences against the Federal Republic of Nigeria, asked a Federal High Court sitting at Abuja to release them on bail.

The other accused persons who pleaded to be released from SSS custody were Obi Nwabueze, Edmond Ebiware and Tiemkemfa Francis Osvwo, a.k.a General Gbokos.

Charles specifically relied on the provisions of sections 36(5) and 36(b) and (c) of the 1999 constitution as well as section 118 (1) and (2) of the Criminal Procedure Act, to contend that his continued stay at the SSS detention facility in Abuja, amounted to a gross infringement on his fundamental human right as a citizen of Nigeria.

After listening to submissions from both sides yesterday, presiding Justice Kolawole adjourned the matter till December 21 for ruling.

It would be recalled that the federal government on December 7, arraigned Charles Okah and three others before the federal high court for allegedly endangering the life of President Goodluck Jonathan while Nigeria celebrated its 50th independence anniversary in Abuja.

Apart from a 1-count charge with 22-particulars of overt acts of treason instituted them, FG subsequently arraigned them again over an 8-count criminal charge relating to the October 1 twin bomb blasts that killed about 12 persons in Abuja.

Meantime there is equally a two separate criminal cases pending against them at an Abuja Chief Magistrate court sitting at Wuse Zone 2.

In the instant case, they were accused of conspiring with Henry Okah and one Emmanuel Allison to make a direct attempt to endanger the life of President Jonathan by seeking to drive two motor vehicles wired with time-regulated explosive devices to the Eagle Square where the Independence celebration was taking place.

FG also alleged that the accused persons between January 2 and March 15, 2010, within Port-Harcourt Rivers State and diverse places, conspired with Henry Okah, Chima Orlu, at large, and persons unknown, to make a direct attempt to endanger the lives of the Governor of Delta state, Edo state and Imo state by seeking to drive two motors vehicles wired with time regulated explosive devices into government house annex, Warri, Delta State, the venue of the Vanguard Post Amnesty Dialogue, where the said governors were in attendance, in order to cause a bomb blast for the purpose of levying war against the state.

It added that a man lost his life because of that explosion.

Charles was specifically alleged among other offences, to have engaged the services of one Bassey Umoren, a welder, and paid him N50, 000, to construct hidden compartments into four motor cars, two of which were subsequently loaded with explosive devices at Port-Harcourt by Obi Nwabueze and Chima Orlu, at large, and positioned on 1st October at 0830 hours near the venue of the anniversary for the purpose of levying war against the state.

He was accused of sending two consignments of army camouflage torches, bullet proof vests and boots to Allison for onward transmission to one Segun Llori alias Stone face, at large, for use by terrorists recruited by Henry Okah in the creeks of Niger Delta.


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