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Africa

Okah denies involvement in Abuja bombings

media Henry Okah hiding from photographers as he is driven out of court, 4 October Photo: Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Exiled Nigerian rebel leader Henry Okah has denied any involvement in the car bombings in a crowd celebrating Nigeria’s 50th anniversary of independence in Abuja. In his bail application before a South African court on Thursday he said people close to him have been arrested in Nigeria and he wonders why he’s being prosecuted.

Henry Okah, who sought political asylum in South Africa, was arrested in Johannesburg on 2 October after the lethal bombings that killed at least 12 people in Nigeria.

Okah says in an affidavit that his arrest has nothing to do with a proper police investigation

It’s what he calls a devious political ploy in Nigeria to gain the upper hand over political opponents.

His lawyer Rudi Krause read Okah’s document simply denying any involvement of any kind in the bombings.

The alleged leader of Mend (the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta) challenges prosecutors to prove the opposite and says the South African authorities arrested him to appease the Nigerian government.

Okah claims he was illegally arrested by South African police in mid-September.

They then let him go, which he says, they would not have done had he been a dangerous terrorist.

The Nigerian who owns a security company in Johannesburg is being kept apart from the general prison population because the court ruled his life might be at risk.

 
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