Charles Okah and Obi Nwabueze, the accused standing trial for their alleged involvement in the October 1, 2010 blast, will on March 7, know their fate as Justice Gabriel Kolawale of the Federal High Court will deliver judgment.
The Independence Day bomb blast at the Eagle Square, Abuja left 12 people dead and several others injured.
Kolawale fixed the date for judgment on the terrorism trial of Okah and Nwabueze after listening to the adoption of final addresses by the prosecuting and defence counsel.
Okah, Nwabueze, Edmund Ebiware and Tiemkemfa Francis-Osvwo (aka General Gbokos) were initially arraigned before the court on December 7, 2010 for their alleged involvement in the bomb blast which left about 12 people dead and several others injured.
Francis-Osvwo later died in prison custody, while Ebiware, who had his trial conducted separately, is serving life sentence upon his conviction in 2013.
When the matter was called, the prosecuting counsel, Alex Izinyon, (SAN) urged the court to convict the defendants as charged since the prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt that they committed the crime.
The senior lawyer described Okah as a schemer, and the facilitator of the terrorism act of October 1, 2010. He is neck, head and toe deep in terrorism act.
He prayed the court to convict the defendants as charged and sentence them accordingly.
The defence counsel, Emeka Okoroafor and Oghenovo Otemu, however, prayed the court to discharge and acquit their clients on the grounds that the prosecution had failed to prove that they took part in the bombing.
Otemu had tried to convince the court to acquit his client on the grounds the prosecution concealed evidence that was in his client’s favour in the course of the trial.
Otemu said: “My Lord, the second prosecution witness in ‘trial-within-trial’ gave evidence that the 2nd defendant made voluntary statement on August 18, 2010, at the headquarters of the Department of State Security Services.
“This was corroborated by the prosecution witness but until now, that statement is not before this court because the prosecution tactically left it out.
“This amounts to concealment of evidence.”
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that in the course of the trial, the prosecution called 17 witnesses to prove that the defendants actually committed the crime.
As the prosecution closed its case, the defendants filed a no-case-submission which was dismissed by the judge.
In dismissing the no-case-submission, the court held that the prosecution had established a prima facie case through testimonies of witnesses which linked the defendants with the charges.
The court then ordered the defendants to open their defence on July 5, 2017 which they did and closed on December 15, 2017, after calling seven witnesses.
The judge adjourned the matter until March 7, for judgement.