Charles Okah

The trial of the alleged mastermind of the October 1, 2010, Independence day bombings in Abuja, Charles Okah in the terrorism charges preferred against him by the Federal Government resumed on Monday, with the prosecution seeking to affix a stamp on an evidence already before the court.

The prosecution counsel, Dr Alex Izinyon (SAN) told Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High Court in Abuja yesterday that his client would like to affix a stamp on the evidence alluded to by the first prosecution witness, John Afolabi, in April 2015.

Okah is facing trial, along with his co-defendants for allegedly masterminding the October 1, 2010, Independence day bomb blasts which occurred at the Eagle Square in Abuja, which claimed the lives of several people and left several others injured.

Izinyon told the court that his client intends to regularise the said document by affixing the requisite stamp and added that the said document contains a list of items alluded to by Afolabi, the first prosecution witness in the matter.

Reacting to the application, the defence counsel, Oghene Otemo said the document intended to be regularised has been in court for a long time, and that the defence team had addressed the court on the failure of the prosecution to affix a stamp on the said document.

He argued that “The application of the Prosecution Counsel is alien and unknown to law. It is unknown to the criminal procedure of Nigeria. Granting the application will amount to the mistrial of the defendant.

“Granting the application upon presented facts, at this stage of the case, will orchestrate a serious miscarriage of justice. It is an abuse of court process,” Otemo said.

Justice Kolawole adjourned the matter till February 21, 2018, for ruling on the prosecution’s application.

Okah, Nwabueze, Edmund Ebiware and Tiemkemfa Francis-Osvwo (aka General Gbokos) were first arraigned before the court on December 7, 2010, over their alleged involvement in the October 1, 2010, blasts, leaving about 12 people dead and several others injured.

The court had earlier sentenced Edmund Ebiware to life imprisonment, while the 4th defendant, Tekemfa Francis-Osvwo died in prison.

The court held on June 1, 2017, that both Okah and Nwabueze had a case to answer with respect to the incident.

Justice Kolawole dismissed the defendants’ no-case submission which they had filed after the prosecution called 17 witnesses and tendered documentary exhibits as evidence to prove its case.

The Judge held that contrary to the contention of the defendants, the prosecution had been able to link the defendants with the alleged offence, warranting them to offer explanations in respect of the charges preferred against them.

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