Buhari Applauds South Africa for Okah’s 20-Year Prison Term
President Muhammadu Buhari has lauded the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa for upholding the conviction of Mr. Henry Okah over charges of terrorism.
In a letter written to the South African government during the week, the president expressed the belief that Okah’s conviction would go a long way towards ridding the African continent of the scourge of terrorism and called on Nigerians and other citizens of the world to hail the judgment.
The appellate court on Monday reportedly upheld a 20-year prison term for Okah having found him guilty on two out of the six-count charge relating to the Warri bombing against him, while also affirming a 12-year sentence for his role in the October 1, 2010 bombing in Abuja.
On the Warri bombing, the court held Okah to be the facilitator, providing finance and equipment without which the bombing would not have been executed, Punch writes.
It ruled that he provided more than N2m to three individuals for the purpose of acquiring vehicles and explosives used in the act, while it posited that Okah conspired, planned and instructed people in relation to the execution of the Abuja bombing.
“South Africa has projected itself an enduring partner to Nigeria in the war against terrorism,” a presidency source quoted part of the letter.
“When African countries act jointly against terrorism, they send out clear and unambiguous signals that there is no more a place for terrorism on our continent.”
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, confirmed the development to journalists, stating that the President Buhari viewed Okah’s conviction positively “as a serious signal in cleansing Nigeria of terrorism.”
Okah was the leader of militant group, Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND), who took responsibility for both blasts.
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