President Muhammadu Buhari has commended the South African’s court that upheld a 20-year prison term for Mr. Henry Okah having found him guilty on two out of the six-counts relating to the Warri bombings labeled against him.
He has written to the South African Government to show his happiness over the news.
In the letter, President Muhammadu Buhari was said to have described the judicial decision as a big step forward towards removing terrorism from the continent.
“South Africa has projected itself an enduring partner to Nigeria in the war against terrorism.When African countries act jointly against terrorism, they send out clear and unambiguous signals that there is no more place for terrorism on our continent,” the source quoted part of the letter to the South African authorities.
He added “The South African authorities are therefore, urged to ensure that Mr. Okah is made to face the full wrath of the law for his acts of international terrorism. The scourge of terrorism as perpetrated by the Boko Haram terrorists and the so-called Niger Delta Avengers or militants has led to the death of several Nigerians and the monumental destruction of national assets,” he added.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, confirmed the development to journalists.
Shehu said the Presidency viewed Okah’s conviction positively “as serious signal in cleansing Nigeria of terrorism.” The Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa, by this judgment has effectively reduced the 12-year sentence for Warri bombing to eight years but maintaining the 12–year sentence for the Abuja bombing, making the period 20 years all together as against the 24 years ruling by a lower Court. Okah was granted Permanent Residency in South Africa in 2007, and was arrested in Johannesburg on October 2. The court was also said to have affirmed a 12-year sentence for his role in the October 1, 2010 Abuja bombing. The convictions that were upheld were said to be those in respect of the Warri bombing, relating to Mr. Okah’s providing finance and equipment without which the bombing would not have been executed.