Leadership (Abuja)

12 November 2012

Nigeria: Independence Day Bombing, Suspect Knows Fate Jan. 25, 2013

Photo: Vanguard
Scene of Independence day attacks by Boko Haram

The Federal High in Abuja on Monday said it will delivery judgment on the treasonable felony charge against Edmund Ebuware on Jan. 25, 2013.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ebuware is standing trial in connection with the Oct. 1, 2010 bombing in Abuja.

Justice Gabriel Kolawole, who presided over the case, gave the date after counsel to the parties adopted their final written addresses.

While adopting his address, Mr Goddy Uche, counsel to the accused person, said that the extra-judicial statement obtained from his client should be discountenanced.

Uche submitted that there was no admission by the accused person to indicate that he committed the offence.

"My Lord, for the statement to be regarded, it must be direct and unequivocal, we urge My Lord to hold that the statement was not confessional and therefore, the prosecution has not proved its case to warrant conviction.

"My Lord, the prosecution has confused the threat to the intention of Harry Okah to bomb Abuja with the threat to life of the accused person transmitted to him through his telephone," he said.

He further argued that the charge brought against the accused person was not known to law, adding: "until Henry Okah is tried and convicted for similar offence, the trial remains an injustice."

According to him, all the prosecution witnesses brought to testify on the matter did not establish anything against the accused person to suggest the extent of his involvement.

Uche said that their testimonies were against the Evidence Act.

"My Lord, I urge the court to acquit the accused person because it is in fact more justice to free ten offenders than to convict one innocent person.

"The court is not one of sentiment and injustice, the court can only act on evidence and as it stands, there is no evidence linking the accused person to the blast that took place in Abuja on Independence Day of 2010,"

Dr Alex Izinyon, the counsel to the SSS, submitted that Section 40 (a) (b) and (c) of the Criminal Code negated the submission that the accused person could only be brought to justice when the principal offender, (Henry Okah) was brought to justice.

He explained "the intention of Okah which was verbalised in a conversation with the accused person via the telephone eventually took place on the Independence Day of 2010".

Izinyon submitted that the elements needed to commence the prosecution of the accused person were thoroughly considered before heading to court.

According to him, the elements are that it is established that Okah planned to commit treason against President Goodluck Jonathan.

He said that other two elements were that the accused person had knowledge of the issue and did not disclose to the highest authority.

"The claims made by the accused person that he disclosed the matter to some bigwigs in government were tested to be lies by prosecution witnesses.

"My Lord, in the circumstance, the prosecution has proved the case beyond reasonable doubt and the accused person should be convicted as charged," he said.

The court had on May 3, removed Ebuware from the list of suspects charged with the Independence Day bombing.

Kolawole granted the order following a motion filed by the accused person for an independent trial.

NAN further reports that others charged with the bombing were Charles Okah and Obi Nwabueze.

The fourth accused, Tiemkemfa Osuvwo, died in Kuje prison on March 2.

Ebuware had told the court that his inclusion among the principal accused persons would be a distraction to his defence.

The accused person was charged for hiding information on the motive of the other accused persons.

NAN reports that the Criminal Code prescribed death sentence as penalty for the offence.

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InFocus

Independence Day Bomber to Know Fate Soon

Scene of Independence day attacks by Boko Haram

A High in Abuja say it will delivery judgement charge against Edmund Ebuware accused of being involved in the Oct. 1, 2010 bombing on Jan. 25, 2013. Read more »