October 1 Bombing: Charles Okah, Nwabueze condemned to life imprisonment

The Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday sentenced Charles Okah and his accomplice, Obi Nwabueze, to life imprisonment for masterminding the bomb blasts which occurred in Abuja on October 1, 2010, and earlier in Warri, Delta State, on March 15 of the same year.

While delivering the judgment which lasted about six hours, Presiding Judge, Gabriel Kolawolefound the defendants guilty of all five counts of terrorism preferred against them
Counsel to Okah and Nwabueze, Emeka Okoroafor and Oghenovo Otemu had prayed the court to show the convicts mercy, owing to the fact that they were first-time offenders.

However, the prosecution led by Mr. Alex Iziyon, (SAN), asked the court to give the convicts the maximum sentence as prescribed Section 15 (1) (2) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act on which they were tried.

The judge said having handed down a life sentence earlier in 2013 to Edmund Ebiware, who had initially stood trial with the convicts; he could not give a lighter sentence to Okah and Nwabueze.

He said that it was necessary for the maximum sentence to be given in order to ensure that justice was served in the eyes of families of those who died or sustained injuries.

Okah and three others: Obi Nwabueze, Edmund Ebiware and Tiemkemfa Francis-Osvwo (aka General Gbokos) were initially arraigned before the court on Dec. 7, 2010.

They were arraigned for their alleged involvement in the bomb blast which left about 12 people dead and several others injured.
Francis-Osvwo later died in prison custody, while Ebiware, who had his trial conducted separately, is serving life sentence upon his conviction in 2013.

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