Nigerian militant to be isolated

Nigerian former militant leader Henry Okah will be kept apart from other prisoners at the Johannesburg prison until his bail application is heard next week, his attorney said today.

“By agreement between us and the state Mr Okah will be held in a single cell at the Johannesburg Correctional Centre,” his attorney Rudi Krause said.

Krause said the arrangements were made in the interest of Okah’s safety.

His bail application has been set for October 14.

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

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

During his first appearance in the Johannesburg Magistrates Court yesterday, Okah’s defence team asked the court to order that he be placed in a high-risk detention centre.

It contended that his arrest had been unlawful.

Okah has been linked to the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, 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.

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