Okah’s diary under scrutiny

2010-10-18 13:15

Terror-accused Henry Okah failed to remember most entries in his diary between 2007 and this year, the Johannesburg Magistrates Court heard today.

“Most of these were just my perception of what was going in Niger,” Okah said in his bail hearing, denying he was involved in fighting in that region in recent years.

Prosecutor Shaun Abrahams cited a list of machine guns, landmines and air missiles as evidence Okah had been a major roleplayer in the conflict in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region.

However, Okah said the list was taken from a book on warfare he was reading at the time.

“You wanted to source the material,” Abrahams said.

Okah denied this, saying tanks and landmines would be useless in the conflict because the fighting was taking place in swamps.

“These are excerpts from books. They have nothing to do with the Niger Delta fighting,” Okah said.

He told the court of how he arranged for journalists to go into guerrilla camps.

Abrahams, however, used Okah’s statement to emphasise how the militant group, the Movement for the Emancipation the Niger Delta, used the media to communicate its attacks.

Confirming he was a war expert, Okah said he received about 200 calls per day from people concerned about what was happening in the Niger Delta.
He was questioned about his statement from a diary which reads: “We need heavier equipment and money.”

To this he answered that this was a general feeling among people who knew what was going on in that region.

The 45-year-old Nigerian, who has South African citizenship, was testifying in his own bail hearing today. He faces charges of engaging in terrorist activities, conspiracy to engage in terrorist activity, and delivering, placing and detonating an explosive device, following twin car bombs in Abuja, Nigeria, that killed 12 people on October 1.

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