22nd October, 2010
Mr. Shawn Abrahams, the prosecutor in the trial of Nigeria’s terror suspect, Henry Okah, has told the JohannesburgÂ court in South Africa thatÂ Okah is being investigated by the home affairs department for fraud relating to his application for South African citizenship.
Abrahams alleged that Okah had given the department fraudulentÂ documents. Abrahams also said the self-confessed war expert was being investigated for money laundering and weapons proliferation by the South African police.
The disclosures came amidst the battle by Okah’s lawyer to secure him bail. Okah will know later today if his bail application has succeeded.
Yesterday,, following the taunting by Okah’s lawyer, challenging the South African authorities to produce evidence linking him with the twin car bombings in Abuja, the state returned with some ‘damning evidence’, indicating that Okah was not just the mastermind of the bombings, but also the financier. The revelations came in an affidavit deposedÂ byÂ Noel Graeme Zeeman of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, in the South African Police Services (SAPS), which was tendered in the court. P.M. NEWSÂ reproduces the affidavit:
â€œIn brief, and to date, investigations into the said bombings reveal the following from verifiable evidence: Prior to the detonation of the two vehicle-improvised explosive devices on 1 October 2010 in Abuja, two vehicles, namely a Honda and a Mazda 626, were purchased in Lagos on the instruction of the accused by persons complicit in the crime.
On the instructions of the accused, the said vehicles were conveyed to Port Harcourt, where the boots of the vehicles were loaded with dynamite, which were packed in sacks and wired with timers.
At 11h 00am, on 1 October 2010, a vehicle borne improvised explosive device was detonated along Shehu Shagari Way, a public bridge road near a prominent hotel in Abuja. The Honda was used in this first explosion, which resulted in the death of one person and severe injuries to many other persons.
Approximately 10 to 15 minutes after the first explosion, a second vehicle borne improvised explosive device was detonated about 100 metres away, near the Wuse Market. The Mazda 626 was utilised in the second explosion, which resulted in the death of 11 persons and severe injuries to many other persons.
The Nigerian Police Force Anti-Bomb Squad, Forensic, Investigative authorities conducted a post-blast investigation of the scene. Two cellular telephones, each with multi-strand wires attached thereto, were found in proximity to the scene of the second explosion.
The post-blast investigations confirmed that the main explosive charges were located in the boot of the vehicles and that dynamite had been used.
Explosive residue swabs were also collected by investigators from each vehicle.
The Vehicle identification numbers (VIN numbers) of both vehicles were established. The driverâ€™s licence of a Nigerian national was also found by Nigerian Police at the scene.The explosions took place under the supervision of Chima Orlu, a Nigerian National, who is still at large. Chima Orlu acted on the instruction of the accused.
Orluâ€™s telephone records have revealed that he had been in contact with the accused on numerous occasions leading up to 1 October 2010. Of greater significance is that Orlu had sent an SMS message to the accused at precisely 10h58:59am on 1 October 2010. This SMS was followed by another SMS from Orlu at 13h13:01 am and again at 13h29:59pm, the same day.
SMSs were sent to Chima Orlu by the accused on 30 September 2010 at 12h38:11pm and on 1 October at 6h02:39am, 7h40:20am, 7h41:22am, and at 7h41:35 am. On 1 October 2010, Orlu made a total of forty-three voice calls and had sent twenty-seven messages to co-perpetrators and co-conspirators.
Ben Ebere, a Nigerian National who is also at large, and who is also known as Ben Jesse, assisted Chima Orlu in the supervision of the said explosions. Ebere had been in telephonic and SMS contact with the accused right up to 29 September 2010.
There were 1126 calls from the accused to Ben Ebere during the period 7 August 2010 to 29 September 2010. There were also 59 SMSs sent from the accused to Ben Ebere during the period 1 July 2010 and 28 September 2010.
The contents of all SMSs between the accused and other perpetrators are still being investigated.
An e-mail communication between the arrested persons in Nigeria, namely, John Tarmy, First Man, and the accused on 1 October 2010, communicates the following: â€œdone, tell them to leave now.â€
This self-same e-mail was forwarded to the accused the same day at 11h15am on 1 October 2010 and forwarded to the accused the same day at 16h25:40. There are further e-mail communications between the accused and persons arrested in Nigeria for the bombings of 1 October 2010 in Abuja with very revealing evidence. These are presently being investigated.â€