Nigeria to charge 5 over attacks

2010-10-19 17:25

Abuja – Nigeria's secret service said on Tuesday it would press charges against five people including the brother of suspected militant leader Henry Okah for helping co-ordinate and carry out car bomb attacks in Abuja on October 1.

The State Security Service (SSS) said the car bombs had been rigged in Port Harcourt, the main city in the Niger Delta oil region, before being driven to the capital where they were detonated near an Independence Day parade, killing at least 10.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (Mend), the country's main militant group, claimed responsibility in a statement emailed to news organisations and signed "Jomo Gbomo", a pseudonym used by Mend's spokespersons.

Henry Okah has been charged in Johannesburg with conspiracy and terrorism over the bombings. He denies involvement.

Charles Okah, Henry's brother, was arrested in Nigeria's commercial hub Lagos on Saturday, a day after a warning signed Jomo Gbomo was emailed to news organisations stating that another bomb attack was planned in Abuja.

"Charles Tombra Okah, one of the known users of the name 'Jomo Gbomo', and four other suspects will be charged to court," SSS spokesperson Marilyn Ogar said in a statement.

The SSS said it had identified the owner of the Port Harcourt residence where the vehicles used in the bombings were wired, as well as the person who it said had co-ordinated the attacks with Henry Okah.

The SSS said it had also identified the person who arranged for the vehicles to be driven to Abuja and the suspect who confirmed the operation had been a success after the blasts.