Okah gets special prison arrangement

2010-10-04 22:00

Johannesburg - Nigerian former militant leader Henry Okah will be kept apart from other prisoners during his stay on Monday night at Johannesburg Central prison, his attorney said.

"A special arrangement has been made for him. He will be in a single cell and will be transported separately," Piet Du Plessis said.

Okah was arrested in Johannesburg on Saturday, after a dual car bombing killed 12 people in Nigeria's capital, Abuja, on Friday.

Okah was charged with engaging in terrorist activities, conspiracy to engage in terrorist activity and delivering, placing and detonating an explosive device.

The case was postponed to October 14 in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Monday.

Du Plessis asked the court to place Okah in a high-risk detention facility in Johannesburg Central prison.

Detaining Okah in a normal prison would put him at risk. He further contended his arrest had been unlawful.

The prosecution and the defence would continue discussions about whether Okah should be moved to another jail and would come to a decision by 1pm on Tuesday.

Okah has been linked to the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (Mend), which had claimed to be fighting for a fairer distribution of oil revenue.

The group was believed to be an umbrella organisation for criminal gangs.

Okah was arrested in Angola three years ago and transferred to Nigerian custody.

He was released as part of an amnesty programme offered to militants in the Niger Delta, the heart of Nigeria's oil industry. He was living in Johannesburg.