The leader of a faction of Movement for Emancipation of Niger-Delta, MEND, Henry Okah, gave instructions for the Independence Day bombing, a prosecution witness said on Thursday.
At the ongoing trial of Mr. Okah in a South African court, the witness, Stanley, said he is a member of MEND having joined the group in 2006.
Mr.Stanley, the third prosecution witness, told the court that he was introduced to Mr. Okah in 2006 and was instructed to always refer to the latter as “Master’’.
“I overhead Okah on numerous occasions discussing the purchase of weapons, and in 2007 he contacted me asking me to pass a message to the other leaders to do whatever it takes to get him out of jail
“His wife, Azuka also devised a plan to kidnap the Angolan Ambassador in Nigeria to bargain for his release,’’ Stanley said.
He said that in January 2010, Mr. Okah instructed him to get an empty apartment he wanted to use to assemble car bombs.
While answering prosecutor’s questions on whether he had knowledge of the October bombing, he said he knew about it two days before it happened.
“A friend, Raphael Danfebo, told me Okah wanted to carry out the terror attack and gave instructions for two cars to be sent to Abuja on October 1,’’ Mr. Stanley said.
Mr. Okah is currently facing a 13-count charge of terrorism, planning and financing car explosions.