Okah wants to see evidence

2010-10-21 18:15

Johannesburg – Nigerian terror accused Henry Okah's lawyer on Thursday asked the State to supply him with copies of cellphone records used as evidence to link him to the Abuja Independence Day car bombs.

Responding to the State's evidence in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court, Okah denied he had been in contact with Chima Orlu or Ben Ebere (also known as Ben Jesse), whom Nigerian authorities were searching for in connection with the October 1 attacks.

"I deny having made contact with him (Orlu)," Okah said in an affidavit.

He accused the State of providing "vague" evidence which "lacked particularity" and applied for permission to view the SMS and telephone records.

State prosecutor Shaun Abrahams rejected this as an "ambush application".

"Surely what the defence wants is to peek over the police investigation," he said.

Earlier Okah and his lawyer Rudi Krause appeared shocked when Abrahams produced an affidavit stating that Okah instructed his alleged co-conspirators to buy the two cars used in the bombings.

In an affidavit, investigating officer Lieutenant Colonel Graeme Zeeman said Okah had been in contact with the people who had detonated the twin car bombs.

Cars purchased on Okah’s instruction

"Prior to the detonation of the two improvised explosive devices on 1 October in Abuja, two vehicles, namely a Honda and a Mazda 626, were purchased in Lagos on the instruction of the accused, by persons complicit in the crime," Abrahams said earlier, arguing against Okah's bid for bail.

The two cars were loaded with dynamite and parked on a road near a prominent hotel in Abuja, where the celebrations took place. Twelve people were killed in the explosions.

Abrahams said Okah had been in contact with Chima Orlu, one of the two men wanted in connection with the bombings.

An SMS Orlu sent, which read: "Done, tell them to leave", was allegedly forwarded to Okah on the day of the October 1 attacks.

The State alleges Okah's brother Charles was also involved.