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Independence Day Bombing: Charles Okah, Obi Nwabueze get Life Imprisonment



Charles Okah

The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, sentenced Charles Okah and Obi Nwabueze to life imprisonment for masterminding the October 1, 2010 Independence Day bombing near Eagle Square, Abuja.

Justice Gabriel Kolawole handed down the sentence while delivering judgment in the five counts of terrorism charge preferred against the duo by the Federal Government.

The Judge held that the prosecution, through the plethora of exhibits tendered and witnesses called, was able to prove its case beyond reasonable doubts.

“I find the defendants guilty as charged and they are accordingly convicted,” Kolawole said.

The judge said having handed down a life sentence earlier in 2013 to Edmund Ebiware, who had initially stood trial with the convicts, he could not give a lighter sentence to Okah and Nwabueze.

He said that it was necessary for the maximum sentence to be given in order to ensure that justice was served in the eyes of families of those who died or sustained injuries.

The judge noted that the judiciary could not be aloof to the increasing wave of kidnapping and acts of terrorism, citing the recent abduction of the 110 school girls from Dapchi in Yobe.

Counsel to Okah and Nwabueze, Emeka Okoroafor and Oghenovo Otemu had prayed the court to show the convicts mercy, owing to the fact that they were first time offenders.

The prosecuting counsel, Alex Iziyon (SAN), however, asked the court to give the convicts the maximum sentence prescribed by Section 15 (1) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act on which they were tried.

Okah, Nwabueze, Ebiware and Tiemkemfa Francis-Osvwo (aka General Gbokos) were initially arraigned before the court on December 7, 2010.

They were arraigned for their alleged involvement in the bomb blast which left about 12 people dead and several others injured.

Francis-Osvwo later died in prison custody, while Ebiware, who had his trial conducted separately, is serving life sentence upon his conviction in 2013.

The judgment which lasted about six hours has finally brought to an end litigation which started about eight years ago.

NAN also recalls that in the course of the trial, the prosecution called 17 witnesses to prove that the defendants actually committed the crime.

Okah called two witnesses including himself, Nwabueze called four witnesses.


  1. gbaskelebo

    March 8, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    We have a peeping justice with muffled ears! Please remind me… What did Kabiru Sokoto the mastermind of Suleija Catholic church bombing on Christmas day get?

    • Smh

      March 8, 2018 at 4:59 pm

      You know I wanted to say this but I said let me not bring up tribalism. I guess I’m happy these idiots have been brought to justice but I’m also wondering why others have not been equally punished for the crimes.

    • O_o

      March 8, 2018 at 6:14 pm

      He also got a life sentence.

    • Dayo

      March 8, 2018 at 11:43 pm

      @gbaskelebo, Kabiru Sokoto got a life sentence.

  2. Tracy Edward

    March 8, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    Anybody that kill through any means should be jugded. I am happy about this judgement. Is it not foolish to kill your fellow Black and fellow Nigerians? Brainless people! The next is that the corrupt leaders should be brought to book in Jesus Name Amen. Jesus is Lord over Nigeria Amen. God bless Nigeria in Christ Jesus Amen. Nigeria is a great country with great people, all we need is men and women who have the FEAR of GOD in them to Lead us, once more God bless Naija in Jesus Name Amen.

  3. Amaka

    March 8, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    @gbaskelebo, you took that question out of my mouth. I was reading this same bellanaija the other day, and the woman they call mama bokoharam from her mouth said her son is a member of the bokoharam team that kidnapped children from Dapchi. Was she arrested? No!!! She is working around stealing from Nigerians in the name that she is communicating with the terrorist group on behalf of Nigerians, but her son was part of them. Does that make sense? I am so glad I am associated to Nigeria, just because my parents are Nigerians. Nobody listens to this type of nonsense here in USA. I will wait the day that every part of Nigeria, will get equal treatment of the law. Before you all go on attack. Let me make it clear that NO ACT OF TERRORISM IN ANY PART OF NIGERIA IS ACCEPTABLE. I DON’T CARE WHO YOU ARE. All I am saying is that the law should be measured accordingly.

    • Anonymous

      March 8, 2018 at 7:48 pm

      Her son does not literally connote being the mother and if you know the number of Boko haram factions that have dropped their arms for dialogue through the woman, you will understand how important she has been.

      In every ongoing conflict, the government uses locals that the insurgents trust like the woman in question, foreign governments and agencies for dialogue and resolution. Military might has never been able to conquer gorilla terrorist insurgency. You have to bring conflicting parties to the discussion table to get the needed resolution.

    • Ovadje

      March 8, 2018 at 11:33 pm

      @Amaka, and why should she be arrested for the crimes of her son?! Unless she aided and abetted her son’s crimes, her son is a distinct legal person solely responsible for his own actions and/or crime. Unfortunately, we have cultivated this odious habit in Nigeria whereby people are routinely arrested and locked up for the alleged criminal acts of relatives.

  4. The Real Oma

    March 8, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    Good call. But as someone already mentioned what of all the other bombers???

    • Anonymous

      March 8, 2018 at 7:51 pm

      Perhaps you may find it beneficial to know that bellanaija is not the only news source for happenings in Nigeria. A quick google search would show you hundreds of other bombers and terrorists that have been sentenced to ranging prison sentences.

  5. Ovadje

    March 8, 2018 at 11:29 pm

    About darn time!! As for the other killers, we should not let the perfect be the enemy of the good… hopefully, we will eventually get there someday.

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