Saturday, July 30, 2011

Court refuses Okah’s application to quash treason charge

Business Day
29 July 2011

 .…Adjourns trial till October 10

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Friday refused an application to quash a treasonable felony charge brought before it by Charles Okah and three others standing trial over their alleged involvement in the Independence day twin bombings at the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT) Abuja.

The suspected bombers had applied to the court to quash the charge of treasonable felony slammed on them by the Department of State Security Services, wherein they were accused of attempting to topple the Federal Government.

In his ruling, the trial judge, Gabriel Kolawole, held that there is sufficient material in the proof of evidence requiring the explanations of the accused persons, noting that it is only through a trial that those explanations will emerge.

According to the judge, proof of evidence provides a skeletal framework for the ingredients in the charge, and the court needs only to see if a prima facie case has been established.

He held that having read the proof of evidence, he is of the view that the accused persons have some explanations to make and that it is the evidence of witnesses and cross examination that will give flesh to the skeleton which the proof of evidence represents.

On the splitting of the charge, the court held that one of the charges only contained an allegation against three of the accused persons; while the other relates to the four accused persons.

It also noted that one of the charge concerns the concealment of the knowledge of the plot to detonate explosives during the Independence Day celebrations in Abuja; while the other relates to acts of terrorism.

The court later adjourned till October 10 for trial. thers standing trial alongside Okah are Obi Nwabueze, Edmond Ebiware and Tiemkemfa Francis Osvwo.

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