Nigeria to charge Okah's brother

2010-10-20 09:01

Abuja - Nigeria's intelligence agency said on Tuesday that the brother of an ex-militant leader implicated in this month's deadly car bombings along with four others would soon be charged over the attacks.

Authorities allege Charles Okah, brother of ex-militant leader Henry Okah, was among those behind threats issued on behalf of the Mend militant group under the alias Jomo Gbomo, intelligence agency spokesperson Marilyn Ogar said.

Henry Okah has been in custody in South Africa, where he lives, since the day after the October 01 blasts that killed at least 12 people and authorities accuse him of playing a key role in the attacks.

"Charles Tombra Okah, one of the known users of the name Jomo Gbomo, and four other suspects would be charged to court accordingly," said Ogar.

"These five suspects will be charged to court because it has been confirmed that they have direct links to the bomb blasts of October 01 2010."

Asked when they would be charged, she said "shortly".

Ogar also provided further details of the investigation, claiming authorities had established that the independence day car bombs had been wired in the oil hub of Port Harcourt.

However, she did not provide details on how the cars would have been transported to the capital Abuja from Port Harcourt, which is a distance of more than 600 km.

New attack

Ogar said authorities had identified "the individual at whose residence in Port Harcourt the vehicles were wired for detonation and from where they took off for Abuja."

She said they had also identified the suspect who drove and co-ordinated the vehicles brought into Abuja and the person who "directly co-ordinated the bombings with Henry Okah."

In addition, she said authorities had established who had "confirmed to his accomplice that he had completed the job immediately after the bombings".

Charles Okah was arrested on Saturday at his Lagos home, security sources and his wife have said.

An email on behalf of Mend - the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta - signed by Jomo Gbomo warned of the October 01 attacks about an hour before they occurred. Another one later claimed responsibility.

On Friday, a message was sent in the same manner on behalf of Mend warning of a new attack in the capital.

Mend claims to be fighting for a fairer distribution of oil revenue in the deeply impoverished Niger Delta.