Five people held for bombing on Nigeria`s I-Day

Nigeria’s security service SSS said it has arrested five people suspected to have carried out the bombing during the country’s 50th Independence Day anniversary celebration that claimed 14 lives on October 1.

Last Updated: Oct 20, 2010, 22:20 PM IST

Abuja: Nigeria’s security service SSS
said it has arrested five people suspected to have carried out
the bombing during the country’s 50th Independence Day
anniversary celebration that claimed 14 lives on October 1.

State Security Service (SSS), Nigeria’s secret police,
said it has arrested and would soon charge five persons
suspected to be involved in the bombing during the oil rich
African country’s 50th Independence Day anniversary.
SSS also said they had acquitted Raymond Dokpesi, a
media mogul who owns the African Independent Television (AIT).
He was arrested immediately after the bombing that killed 14
people.

Amongst the five arrested includes Charles Okah, the
younger brother of Henry Okah who is at present being tried in
a South African court in connection with the bombing and
belonging to the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger
Delta (MEND). The Movement was earlier associated with
struggle for resource control in the oil rich region of
Nigeria.

"Charles Tombra Okah, one of the known users of the
name `Jomo Gbomo`, and four other suspects will be charged in
court," Marilyn Ogar, the secret police spokeswoman said in a
statement here yesterday.

SSS alleged that the car which transported the October
1 bombs were wired in the residence of Charles in the southern
town of Port Harcourt and driven to the capital city of Abuja.

Despite the arrests, a fresh emailed message from MEND
threatened another bomb attack in Abuja, prompting tightening
of security.

"We hereby repeat our warnings to the residents of
Abuja, the heart of the country and to all persons who will be
interested in attending the political campaign organised by
president Goodluck Jonathan," the group said.

Elsewhere in a court in South Africa, prosecutors are
battling to establish a link between the senior Okah and the
bombing as the president was playing host to leaders from
several countries.
MEND message before the bombing said there is "nothing
worth celebrating after 50 years" as the people of the Niger
Delta have had their land and resources stolen.

Nigeria got independence from Britain in 1960 and was
later ruled by the military.

It returned to presidential democracy in 1999 and has
been striving hard to become Africa`s largest democracy since
then.

Elections are scheduled for next year and the
president has declared his intention to contest amid
opposition from some politicians who claim that a power
sharing agreement within the ruling party dictates that the
president must come from the north whereas Jonathan is from
the south of the country.

PTI