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2010 Independence Day Bombing: Okah Attempts Suicide in Court

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The alleged mastermind of the 2010 Independence Day bombing, Charles Okah, almost killed himself yesterday at the federal high court, Abuja, but for the timely intervention of security operatives attached to Justice Gabriel Kolawole.

It could be recalled that Charles Okah was extradited back to Nigeria, from South Africa, to face charges levelled against him, by the Federal Government, after a bomb went off during the 2010 Independence Day celebration a few distance from Eagles Square, where the celebration was taking place. Many people lost their lives on that faithful day.

However, we learnt Okah, had sought the permission of the judge to speak on what he termed “endless trial”, as his counsel was absent in court.

The judge however, granted the oral application and permitted him to speak for about five minutes.

“I have been incarcerated for about five years now and I have a family to cater for,” he lamented.

“My children would grow up without feeling the warmth of their father and I am tired of this endless trial. I really do not know what I have done to be treated this way. Is it not better to die than to wait and be messed up this way?”

Immediately after he his speech, he grabbed a chair in the court and quickly ran towards a window on third floor of the five-storey building in an attempt to jump down. But he was immediately pulled back by security operatives, lawyers and other litigants.

Consequently, Kolawole adjourned the case to October 20 for continuation of trial.

Others charged in the case are Obi Nwabueze and Edmund Ebuware.

The fourth accused, Tiemkemfa Osuvwo, died in Kuje prison, while Ebuwari has been jailed for life as his case was separately decided.

However, Okah and Nwabueze have been facing long trial as a result of the introduction of numerous injunctions from both the prosecution and defence teams.

Earlier in the trial, John Ainetor, Okah’s counsel, had brought an application that the accused was mentally unfit to stand trial. He urged the court to allow a private medical doctor to examine him.

Alex Izinyon, a senior advocate of Nigeria and prosecution counsel, urged the court to dismiss the application, describing it as an abuse of court process. He argued that it was a ploy to delay the suit, which had yet to make any progress since 2010 when it was instituted.