MEND leader, Henry Okah jailed for 24 years

Henry Okah, leader of Nigeria’s militant group, Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta, MEND, was jailed Tuesday by South African court for 24 years after he was convicted of 13 terrorism charges over twin bombings in Abuja in 2010.

“Effectively, the accused Okah is therefore sentenced to 24 years imprisonment,” said Judge Neels Claassen.

Twelve people were killed in the bomb attacks in the Nigerian capital as the country was celebrating the 50th anniversary of its independence.

The state argued that Okah showed little remorse during the trial, and that his intentions in the bombings were to “obtain maximum casualties.”

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), which in 2010 was a well-equipped armed group fighting for a greater share of the Delta oil wealth, claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Okah, who has permanent residency in South Africa, has denied any involvement in the bombings, claiming the charges against him were politically motivated.

He was also found guilty of terrorism charges related to two explosions in March 2010 in the southern Nigerian city of Warri, a major hub in the oil-rich Delta region.

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