Okah blamed for oil delta bombs

2010-11-11 09:13

kalahari.com

  • Nigeria
    How Ethnic Rivalry and Religious Fundamentalism Threatens Africa's Most Populous Nation Was R342.95 Now R308.66
    buy now
Abuja - The main suspect behind twin car bombings in Nigeria's capital Abuja last month was also responsible for bomb attacks in the southern oil city of Warri in March, the secret service said on Wednesday.

The State Security Service (SSS) said Henry Okah, who is facing conspiracy and terrorism charges in South Africa over the Abuja attacks on October 01, travelled to Warri and wired the car bombs which were detonated on March 15 outside government talks about an amnesty programme.

Okah is one of the suspected leaders of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (Mend), a militant group which this week claimed the kidnapping of seven French, US, Indonesian and Canadian workers from an oil rig off Nigeria's southern coast.

"It has been uncovered that Henry Okah came from South Africa for the Warri bombings, purchased the cars which were then moved to the welder and later to the house of one of the suspects ... where he personally wired the bombs," SSS spokesperson Marilyn Ogar told a news conference.

"Subsequently, on March 14, Okah departed the country, apparently to create an alibi for himself over the bombings that took place the next day," she said.

The first vehicle exploded on an expressway several hundred metres from the Delta state governor's compound in Warri, the second at the gates of the building, in attacks which security sources later said appeared to have been a dry run for October 01.

Both the Abuja and the Warri bombings were claimed by Mend.

Organise years of attacks

Security sources say Okah was long one of the masterminds behind the group, helping to supply weapons and to organise years of attacks on infrastructure including pipelines and flowstations in Africa's biggest oil and gas industry.

Okah, who lives in South Africa and has denied being Mend's leader, has also denied any links to the October 01 blasts. His lawyers say prosecutors have yet to produce any evidence linking him to the explosions.

The claims of responsibility by Mend were an embarrassment for President Goodluck Jonathan, the first Nigerian head of state to come from the Niger Delta, who brokered an amnesty with militants in the region last year.

Jonathan faces elections next April and his comments that the Abuja bombs had nothing to do with the Niger Delta and that Mend's name was used as a cover have already risked becoming a campaign issue, leading rivals to accuse him of partisanship.

Further unrest in the Niger Delta is the last thing he needs as the election season gets underway.

Former Mend commanders who laid down their weapons as part of last year's amnesty programme have condemned the October 01 bombs, which killed at least 10 people, and the secret service has said it has arrested the main culprits.

Threat of more attacks


But the group has always been highly factionalised and some of its fighters remain active.

Mend claimed responsibility for an attack on an offshore oil rig operated by exploration firm Afren late on Sunday in which two Americans, two Frenchmen, two Indonesians and a Canadian were seized.

It also says it is holding three more Frenchmen and a Thai national kidnapped from an oil services vessel in September and has threatened more attacks on the energy industry.

Police in Bayelsa, one of the three main oil-producing states in the Niger Delta, said on Wednesday they had arrested two men who were trying to rig a car with explosives at a bus station in the state capital Yenagoa.

They were seized after part of the home-made device went off, severing one of the man's hands, Bayelsa state police commissioner Aliyu Musa said.

Police said the two men admitted having carried out previous attacks on behalf of Mend.

Read more on:    mend  |  henry okah  |  nigeria  |  west africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 

6 life hacks you simply have to know

A few simple tricks can make your life so much easier!

 
 

For chic geeks...

Device lets disabled people talk through their nose
It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It may feel like you are treading water and going nowhere fast. You may want to get off the merry go round. By pushing yourself...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.