This Day (Lagos)

24 September 2007

Nigeria: MEND Alleges Set-Up of Spokesman in Angola

Port Harcourt — Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND), has accused the Federal Government and Chevron, of framing up their leader, Henry Okah in Angola, warning of "dire consequencies," should any harm befall him.

An on-line statement signed by Gbomo Jomo, alleged that Okah went to Angola from South Africa on a business trip, and was lured away from his luggage, after which he was accused of having incriminating documents in it.

MEND said arrest and subsequent detention of Okah was a move to repeat the killing of Ken Saro Wiwa, which they vowed to resist.

"Movement for Emancipation of the Niger Delta wishes to serve a warning to those behind this plot that a repeat of the Ken Saro Wiwa judicial murder will fail this time around. For the sake of the on-going peace process, the Nigerian security agencies, multinational oil, construction companies and their local and foreign collaborators should not take actions that will jeopardise the peace process.

"Commanders and fighters of MEND are watching the unfolding conspiracy closely. There will no doubt be very unpleasant and dire consequences, if this matter is not handled with fairness," they warned.

According to the MEND statement, Okah went to arrange to buy a fishing trawler, but the countr's security lured him away to search for excess currency and later told him in Portuguese Language, which Okah does not understand, that they found incriminating document in his luggage. MEND said Okah and another co-traveller were taken to an Angolan court, which threw away the case for want of evidence. Okah was again bundled to Equitorial Guinea, where he was accused of plotting to overthrow the government.

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